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Keywords:

  • China;
  • economic growth mode;
  • Laspeyres index;
  • decomposition analysis;
  • carbon productivity

This article is the first attempt to examine the relationship between Chinese provincial GDP growth and CO2 emission indicators. The complete Laspeyres index method is adopted to decompose the change of Chinese provincial GDP into the quantitative influence of carbon emission amount, emission structure adjustment, and carbon productivity improvement. Based on 2001–2009 data, the decomposition results reveal three important areas for further improvement of Chinese carbon productivity: (a) The high growth rate of CO2 emissions has imposed enormous pressures on the improvement of Chinese carbon productivity. Thus, decreasing the growth rate of Chinese CO2 emissions is indispensable. (b) Provincial protectionism has greatly affected the implementation of the central government's policies on CO2 control. Promoting provincial governments to implement these policies on their own initiative is the key to decreasing the growth rate of Chinese CO2 emissions. (c) An unexplained phenomenon was also found. Considering the CO2 emission indicators, the development modes of different provinces tend to relate to their geographic distributions and economic development speed. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 250–255, 2014