Determinants of global CO2 emissions growth

Xuemei Jiang, Dabo Guan

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This paper analyzes global CO2 emissions growth by fossil fuel type (coal, oil or gas), demand type (consumption or investment), country group (developed or developing country) and industry group. The results indicate that, among the three fossil fuels, CO2 emissions from coal use grew the most rapidly in developing countries, by 3.76 Gt in the period 1995–2009. By contrast, CO2 emissions from natural gas use grew the most rapidly in developed countries, by 470 Mt in the period 1995–2009. Further decompositions show that, despite improvements in energy efficiency, the upgrades in infrastructures and changes in electricity requirements in developing countries have led to significant CO2 emissions growth from coal use. Among these countries, China accounts for a high contribution, causing a coal-use-related CO2 emissions growth of up to 2.79 Gt in the period 1995–2009. By contrast, consumption by the public and social services as well as chemical products is the dominant force driving CO2 emission growth from gas in developed countries; the US accounts for a very high contribution, causing a gas-use-related CO2 emissions growth of up to 100 Mt.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1132–1141
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date18 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Global CO2 emission growth
  • Structural decomposition analysis
  • Fossil fuel type
  • WIOD

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