Carbon neutrality check in spatial and the response to land use analysis in China

Xiaowei Chuai, Mengyao Xia, Xin Ye, Qiujingyi Zeng, Junyu Lu, Fengtai Zhang, Lijuan Miao, Yan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


An examination of regional carbon neutrality gaps is needed for China to reach its 2060 carbon neutrality goal. China's carbon sink remains uncertain, and regional interactions require the scientific check of carbon emission reduction responsibility. This study provides a design for a new research framework to check the carbon neutrality gap in each province of China by considering regional inequities and diagnosing land-use problems to recommend some optimizations. The results show that Yunnan, Sichuan, and Hainan are the only regions with more carbon sinks than emissions. North and northwest China have more regions with large gaps between their current state and carbon neutrality. Hebei, Shandong, and Jiangsu have the largest gaps, while small gaps occur more in the southwest. Except for Jiangsu, the developed regions send considerable amount of carbon emissions to the undeveloped regions. There is obvious regional inequity, and 17 provinces should take their extra carbon emissions back that are sent to other regions. Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing have much larger carbon neutrality gaps per unit area compared with other provinces. Both land-use structure and land-use efficiency can determine the regional carbon neutrality gaps. The regions with higher percentages of built-up and industrial land are mostly located in the east and along the coastline, while the regions with higher percentages of vegetated land are concentrated in the south. The undeveloped regions are characterized by the low efficiency of industrial land, while the developed regions are marked by the low efficiency of cropland. In general, the developed regions have more advantages. Low-carbon land-use strategies should be developed according to regional physical conditions and from the perspective of regional coordination and fair development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106893
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Carbon neutrality gap
  • Embodied carbon
  • Inequity
  • Land use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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