JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2013, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (3): 381-390.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2013.03.003

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Analysis on Relationship between Carbon Emissions from Fossil Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in China

WU Hong1,2,3, GU Shu-zhong3, GUAN Xing-liang4, LU Sha-sha5   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Development Research Center of the State Council, Beijing 100010, China;
    4. National Academy for Mayors of China, Beijing 100029, China;
    5. School of Economics and Management, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2011-01-06 Revised:2012-06-26 Online:2013-03-20 Published:2013-03-20


Climate change caused by excessive fossil energy consumption has drawn attention of the researchers around the world to focus on economic development pattern. Econometric method is used to study relationship between carbon emissions from fossil energy consumption and economic growth in China in the paper. First, we estimate carbon emissions from fossil energy consumption in 1953-2010 in China. Second, we establish an econometric model of relationship between carbon emissions and Gross Domestic Product(GDP). Finally, we analyze relationships between two variables through cointegration test, ECM model, impulse response function based on VAR model and Granger causality test. The results show that there is cointegration relation of long-term equilibrium and short-term dynamic adjustment mechanism between carbon emissions from fossil energy and GDP during 1953-2010 in China. Long-term equilibrium will automatically be achieved through short-term dynamic adjustment mechanism. Current GDP has a significant effect on carbon emissions. Every 1% increase of GDP leads to 0.719% increase of carbon emissions. Wide adjustment range of previous error to current carbon emissions attains -0.102. Impulse response function waveform chart between carbon emissions and economic growth depict influence and response in 20 stages, revealing complex dynamic short-term relationship. Unidirectional Granger causalities from carbon emissions to GDP are as follows. Carbon emissions are the Granger cause for economic growth but economic growth is not the Granger cause for carbon emissions. High carbon emissions have promoted economic growth while economic growth hasn’t resulted in significant carbon emissions increase in the past 58 years. The results will provide basis and support for policy making on energy saving and emission reduction and carbon emissions reduction in China.

Key words: fossil energy, carbon emissions, cointegration test, Granger causality test

CLC Number: 

  • F426.2