China's urban and rural residential carbon emissions: Past and future scenarios

Si Wu, Shougeng Hu, Amy E. Frazier, Zongnan Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


China faces significant challenges to supply its urban-rural development with energy while reducing carbon emissions. Residential consumption, which is the second-most important source of carbon emissions following industry, has gradually been receiving attention. However, there are fewer studies that systematically investigate rural and urban residential emissions separately, and the future of residential emissions is uncertain given changes in the economic and social drivers. We used 20 years of energy consumption data from 30 provinces in China and panel regression models to analyze how urban and rural carbon emissions have changed over time and space. We then simulated three future scenarios of residential carbon emissions based on the framework of Shared Socioeconomic pathways. We conclude that there has been considerable growth in per capita rural emissions, largely due to population increases, especially during the periods 2004–2012 and 2012–2018. Overall emissions have declined though, likely due to an adjustment of energy intensity. Both rural and urban emissions are expected to decline in the future, but there is variation in where and how rural and urban emissions may change under the three development scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106802
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Residential carbon emissions
  • Shared socioeconomic pathways
  • Urban-rural diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


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