New Chinese CO2 estimates published

1st September 2015


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Related tags

  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Mitigation ,
  • Generation

Author

Graham Hewitt

China's carbon emissions are lower than previously thought, according to academics led by the University of East Anglia.

In a paper published in Nature, the researchers say that China produced 2.9 gigatonnes less carbon between 2000 and 2013 than estimated.

The team, which included academics from Harvard University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, re-evaluated emissions from fossil fuels and cement production from 1950 to 2013 using independently assessed data.

They also used new measurements of emissions factors for Chinese coal, which is typically lower quality and has a lower carbon content compared with that burned in the US and Europe. The emissions factors were found to be 40% lower than the default levels reported in other assessments of China’s carbon emissions, including the IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5).

Professor Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for climate change research at UEA, said Chinese data has many uncertainties, in particular discrepancies between national and provincial figures. “As we refine our estimates we can improve our climate projections and better inform policy on climate,” she said.

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