Regional decomposition of CO2 emission reduction potential and emission reduction targets

Background of emission abatement and quota allocation

Although the Copenhagen conference failed to reach any effective emission reduction agreement, it is a solid first step for humanity to cope with climate change in the twenty-first century. The basic four countries composed of China and other large developing countries2 successfully resisted the mandatory emission reduction targets demanded by developed countries at the meeting, and strengthened future climate change negotiations should follow the Kyoto Protocol and “Bali route” under the leadership of the UN. As China’s influence in the global political, economic, and environmental fields is growing, as a rising “responsible power,” China proposes an alternative target of 40-45% reduction in CO, emission intensity by 2020. After the Copenhagen conference, the Renewable Energy Law Amendment passed by the National People’s Congress and the Climate Response Office in the vicinity of the National People’s Congress can be regarded as concrete measures to deal with international challenges.3 In the government’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the goal of reducing carbon intensity will be integrated into various plans and policies, as well as previous energy conservation and emission reduction targets (Sustainable Development Strategy Research Group of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2009). The ensuing question is: How to regionally decompose the national CO, intensity constraint target?4 As many scholars have disputed, due to the imbalance of economic development in China, there are great differences in the carrying capacity and acceptability of reforms between different regions and different departments (Liu Shucheng, 2008), its own level of industrial development, and energy saving. The energy structure is also inconsistent. Therefore, in the area of the CO, emission intensity target and the progress of the decomposition is the “one size fits all” and “step-by-step” policy, or the “differentiated” and “divide and conquer” step-by-step approach, and the basis and principle of decomposition are worthy of further discussion (Chang Xinghua, 2007; Wei Chu et al., 2010).

Previously, international research and policy recommendations for climate change were mostly dominated by the West (IPCC, 2007; Stern, 2008; UNEP,

Regional decomposition 43 2008), but they were often opposed by developing countries, and the focus of their debate was on how to reflect the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities, and how to ensure the fairness of the development of countries while achieving climate change mitigation. At present, the three representative programs abroad include: the Constriction and Convergence program proposed by the Global Commons Institute in 1990. The program starts from the current per-capita emission level and envisages the per-capita emission targets of different countries. After convergence to a certain level in the future, all countries will reduce emissions together and stabilize GHG concentrations to an acceptable level (Gao, 2006); the climate change framework launched by Brazil in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol negotiations. In the Summary of the Protocols of the Protocol (the “Brazil Text” program), the concept of effective GHG emissions is proposed, and the relative emission reduction obligations are set for Annex I countries. If they cannot be completed within the commitment period, they will be exceeded. Emissions penalties set up a Clean Development Fund to support adaptation and mitigation of climate change projects (Qi Yue & Xie Gaodi, 2009); in the Greenhouse Development Rights Framework proposed by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in Sweden, only rich people have the responsibility and ability to reduce emissions by setting development thresholds, The development needs of the poor with a barrier below the development threshold, the allocation of global emission reductions based on the total population capacity (purchasing GDP reduction) and total liability (cumulative historical emissions) exceeding the development threshold (Shen Gang, 2009). In the above schemes, although historical emissions are considered, most are based on national emission indicators, neglecting the principle of per-capita equity. In addition, they do not consider the development needs of countries at different stages, neglecting the distribution of demand for future emissions, and still biased from a fair perspective (Pan Jiahua & Zheng Yan, 2009).

Chinese scholars have also conducted a lot of research on global GHG distribution. The Research Group of the Development Research Center of the State Council (2009) proposed a “national emission account” program based on property rights theory and externality theory, and clearly defined the historical emission rights and future emission rights of countries; establish national emission accounts for countries, and allocate emission rights to countries according to the principle of equal per capita, so that “common but differentiated responsibilities” can be clearly defined. Jiahua and Ying (2009) proposed a “carbon budget plan” based on the theory of human development. From the basic needs of people, the corresponding carbon budget rights between 1900 and 2050 were initially allocated to countries according to the per-capita mode. Dealing with self-overdraft or surplus status not only ensures a dual goal of fairness and sustainability, but also designs a carbon budget balancing mechanism and funding mechanism. Ding Zhongli et al. (2009), also based on the “per-capita cumulative emission index” idea, calculated the per-capita cumulative emissions, deserved emission allowances.

and emission allowances for 2006 2050 in countries from 1900 to 2005, and calculated the deficits of countries.

China is currently committed to the goal of reducing CO, emission intensity by 2020. This goal can be expected to be completed in theory.5 In the medium and long term, future CO, emission reduction is imperative. If more stringent energy-saving and emission reduction technologies are adopted, with effective international technology transfer and financial support, China’s carbon emissions may peak in 2030- 2040 and then enter a period of stability and decline (He Jiankun, 2011; He Jiankun et al., 2008; Jiang Kezhen et al., 2009; Ding Zhongli et al., 2009). Therefore, it is more meaningful to analyze the CO, emission reduction potential and emission reduction space of each province, and provide some reference for the future allocation of emission reduction targets.

This chapter attempts to answer the following questions. What is the potential and space for CO, reduction in each region? How high is the marginal cost of reducing emissions? Which provinces need to be focused on when considering the fairness and efficiency of CO, emission reduction targets?

This chapter considers several parameters. The fairness dimension includes the responsibility and ability to reduce climate change in different regions. The efficiency dimension includes the emission reduction potential, marginal abatement cost, emission ratio, emission reduction ratio, and emission intensity of different regions. The quantitative emission estimation and ranking of each province’s emission reduction obligations have been carried out from the perspectives of emission reduction fairness and efficiency. The results show that there may be some conflicts between regional distribution fairness and efficiency of CO, emission reduction, and the final allocation priority and priority will depend on decision-makers' consideration of fairness and efficiency. In addition, this chapter explains the differences in provincial CO, emission reduction potential and finds that industrial structure, energy intensity, and energy structure have a greater impact on emission reduction potential.

The structure of this chapter is organized as follows. The first part introduces the basic ideas and models and data; the second section evaluates the regional CO, emission reduction potential based on China’s provincial data, and estimates the marginal cost of regional CO, emission reduction; the third section is from fairness and efficiency, respectively. From this perspective, the province’s emission reduction capacity is evaluated and ranked; the fourth section is the explanation of the difference in regional CO, emission reduction potential; the last is related discussion and policy implications.

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