City Level Emission Inventories

City-level climate change mitigation in China

As national efforts to reduce CO2 emissions intensify, policy-makers need increasingly specific, subnational information about the sources of CO2 and the potential reductions and economic implications of different possible policies. This is particularly true in China, a large and economically diverse country that has rapidly industrialized and urbanized and that has pledged under the Paris Agreement that its emissions will peak by 2030. We present new, city-level estimates of CO2 emissions for 182 Chinese cities, decomposed into 17 different fossil fuels, 46 socioeconomic sectors, and 7 industrial processes. We find that more affluent cities have systematically lower emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), supported by imports from less affluent, industrial cities located nearby. In turn, clusters of industrial cities are supported by nearby centers of coal or oil extraction. Whereas policies directly targeting manufacturing and electric power infrastructure would drastically undermine the GDP of industrial cities, consumption-based policies might allow emission reductions to be subsidized by those with greater ability to pay. In particular, sector-based analysis of each city suggests that technological improvements could be a practical and effective means of reducing emissions while maintaining growth and the current economic structure and energy system. We explore city-level emission reductions under three scenarios of technological progress to show that substantial reductions (up to 31%) are possible by updating a disproportionately small fraction of existing infrastructure.

The emission inventories for 182 Chinese cities can be downloaded at:182 city emission inventories.
When using the city-level emission data, please refer to City-level climate change mitigation in China (open access).

Production-based CO2 emission inventories

Cities contribute 85 % of the total CO2 emissions in China and thus are considered the key areas for implementing policies designed for climate change adaption and COemission mitigation. CEADs developed a method for constructing a COemissions inventory for Chinese cities in terms of the definition provided by the IPCC territorial (and sectoral) emission accounting approach. Please note this is an ongoing process, which involves data collection, compilation and verification. Here we present the first butch of inventories for 20 Chinese in the year 2010 and 18 cities in central China from the year 2000 to 2014. We will gradually upload all available inventories after we complete all validation processes. CEADs aim to advocate free, transparent, robust and can be validated dataset to non-academic users. Due to relatively low quality and availability of energy data and other information at the city level, we have our best effort to provide a most possibly robust inventory for any data we published online. We provide the full transparent process in compiling the inventory. You can find detailed methodology and data sources from the publication link below.
We welcome and call all interested parties to join us to improve the methodology in compiling city level inventories and construct a better and comprehensive dataset!
When using city-level production-based CO2 emission data, or the method, please refer to Methodology and applications of city level CO2 emission accounts in China (open access).

Production-based CO2 emission inventories for 24 Chinese cities in 2010 by 45 economic sectors and two residential sectors: Download.
Reference: Methodology and applications of city level CO2 emission accounts in China (open access)

Production-based CO2 emission inventories for 18 cities in central China from 2000 to 2014: Download.
Reference: Patterns of CO2 emissions in 18 central Chinese cities from 2000 to 2014

Production-based CO2 emission and energy inventories for 29 cities in the central plain: Download (energy inventory), Download (emission inventory).
Reference: Decoupling of economic growth and emissions in China’s cities: a case study of the Central Plains urban agglomeration

Consumption-based CO2 emission inventories

Most of China’s CO2 emissions are related to energy consumption in its cities. Thus, cities are critical for implementing China’s carbon emissions mitigation policies. In this study, we employ an input-output model to calculate consumption-based CO2 emissions for thirteen Chinese cities and find substantial differences between production- and consumption-based accounting in terms of both overall and per capita carbon emissions. Urban consumption not only leads to carbon emissions within a city’s own boundaries but also induces emissions in other regions via interregional trade. In megacities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin, approximately 70% of consumption-based emissions are imported from other regions. Annual per capita consumption-based emissions in the three megacities are 14, 12 and 10 tonnes of CO2 per person, respectively. Some medium-sized cities, such as Shenyang, Dalian and Ningbo, exhibit per capita emissions that resemble those in Tianjin. From the perspective of final use, capital formation is the largest contributor to consumption-based emissions at 32–65%. All thirteen cities are categorized by their trading patterns: five are production-based cities in which production-based emissions exceed consumption-based emissions, whereas eight are consumption-based cities, with the opposite emissions pattern. Moreover, production-based cities tend to become consumption-based as they undergo socioeconomic development.


Consumption-based CO2 emission Inventories for 13 Chinese cities in 2007 by 42 economic sectors: Download.
Reference: Consumption-based emission accounting for Chinese cities

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Tibet and its cities in 2014

Because of its low level of energy consumption and the small scale of its industrial development, the Tibet Autonomous Region has historically been excluded from China’s reported energy statistics, including those regarding CO2 emissions. In this paper, we estimate Tibet’s energy consumption using limited online documents, and we calculate the 2014 energy-related and process-related CO2 emissions of Tibet and its seven prefecture-level administrative divisions for the first time. Our results show that 5.52 million tons of CO2 were emitted in Tibet in 2014; 33% of these emissions are associated with cement production. Tibet’s emissions per capita amounted to 1.74 tons in 2014, which is substantially lower than the national average, although Tibet’s emission intensity is relatively high at 0.60 tons per thousand yuan in 2014. Among Tibet’s seven prefecture-level administrative divisions, Lhasa City and Shannan Region are the two largest CO2 contributors and have the highest per capita emissions and emission intensities. The Nagqu and Nyingchi regions emit little CO2 due to their farming/pasturing-dominated economies. This quantitative measure of Tibet’s regional CO2 emissions provides solid data support for Tibet’s actions on climate change and emission reductions.

Tibetan cities emission inventory: Download
Reference: Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Tibet and its cities in 2014 (open access)

A city-level inventory for atmospheric mercury emissions from coal combustion in China

Cities are essential entities for dedicated mercury control policies. However, the city-level mercury emission inventory as the cornerstone of proper policy design is still in its infancy, due to data availability. For the first time, this study developed a comprehensive city-level atmospheric mercury emission inventory from coal combustion in China in 2010, by updating emission factors based on high-resolution information such as the plant-specific air pollution control devices (APCDs) in 182 cities. The estimated atmospheric mercury emissions from coal combustion were 202.3 tons (-51.7%, 133.6%), over half of which were concentrated in 36 cities such as Chongqing (megacity) and Ordos (heavily coal-reliant city), implying mercury emissions were unevenly distributed. Mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants with the largest coal consumption was less than that from industrial coal combustion, because more efficient APCDs were installed in power plants. This study also took GDP, the proportion of coal in energy mix and cities’ population as the benchmark to classify cities into various groups. Energy production and heavy manufacturing cities had comparatively larger emissions. Moreover, optional mitigation policies were elaborated for specific cities, such as retrofit of APCDs for coal-reliant cities (e g., Nanyang and Sanmenxia) lack of enough efficient end-of-pipe mercury removal devices.

City-level mercury emission inventory: Download
Reference: A city-level inventory for atmospheric mercury emissions from coal combustion in China