Are per capita carbon emissions predictable across countries?

Cheng Kuan Lin, Tom Chen, Xihao Li, Nathalie De Marcellis-Warin, Corwin Zigler, David C. Christiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: China and other developing countries in Asia follow similar economic growth patterns described by the flying geese (FG) model, which explains the “catching-up” process of industrialization in latecomer economies. Japan, newly industrialized economies, and China have followed this path, with similar economic development trajectories. Based on the FG model, we postulated a “flying S” hypothesis stating that if a country is located within an FG region and its energy matrix is relatively constant, its per capita CO 2 emission curve will mirror that of “leading geese” countries in the same FG group. Method: Historical CO 2 emissions data were obtained from literature review and national reports and were calculated using bottom-up methods. A sigmoid-shaped, non-linear mixed effect model was applied to examine ex post data with 1000 simulated predictions to construct 95% empirical bands from these fits. By multiplying by estimated population, we predicted total emissions of selected FG countries. Results: Per capita CO 2 emissions from the same FG group mirror each other, especially among second and third industrial sectors. We estimated an annual 18,252.24 million tons of CO 2 emissions (MtCO 2 ) (95% CI = 9458.88–23,972.88) in China and 8281.76 MtCO2 (95% CI = 2765.68–14,959.12) in India in 2030. Conclusion: This study bridges the macroeconomic FG paradigm to study climate change and proposes a “flying S” hypothesis to predict greenhouse gas emissions in East Asia. By applying our theory to empirical data, we provide an alternative framework to predict CO 2 emissions in 2030 and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-575
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume237
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

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carbon emission
Carbon
Mirrors
Economics
Gas emissions
Developing countries
Greenhouse gases
Climate change
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literature review
industrialization
economic growth
greenhouse gas
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developing world
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climate change
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Keywords

  • CO
  • Climate change
  • Economic development
  • Emission
  • Flying geese
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Macroeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Are per capita carbon emissions predictable across countries? / Lin, Cheng Kuan; Chen, Tom; Li, Xihao; De Marcellis-Warin, Nathalie; Zigler, Corwin; Christiani, David C.

In: Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 237, 01.05.2019, p. 569-575.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Cheng Kuan ; Chen, Tom ; Li, Xihao ; De Marcellis-Warin, Nathalie ; Zigler, Corwin ; Christiani, David C. / Are per capita carbon emissions predictable across countries?. In: Journal of Environmental Management. 2019 ; Vol. 237. pp. 569-575.
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title = "Are per capita carbon emissions predictable across countries?",
abstract = "Background: China and other developing countries in Asia follow similar economic growth patterns described by the flying geese (FG) model, which explains the “catching-up” process of industrialization in latecomer economies. Japan, newly industrialized economies, and China have followed this path, with similar economic development trajectories. Based on the FG model, we postulated a “flying S” hypothesis stating that if a country is located within an FG region and its energy matrix is relatively constant, its per capita CO 2 emission curve will mirror that of “leading geese” countries in the same FG group. Method: Historical CO 2 emissions data were obtained from literature review and national reports and were calculated using bottom-up methods. A sigmoid-shaped, non-linear mixed effect model was applied to examine ex post data with 1000 simulated predictions to construct 95{\%} empirical bands from these fits. By multiplying by estimated population, we predicted total emissions of selected FG countries. Results: Per capita CO 2 emissions from the same FG group mirror each other, especially among second and third industrial sectors. We estimated an annual 18,252.24 million tons of CO 2 emissions (MtCO 2 ) (95{\%} CI = 9458.88–23,972.88) in China and 8281.76 MtCO2 (95{\%} CI = 2765.68–14,959.12) in India in 2030. Conclusion: This study bridges the macroeconomic FG paradigm to study climate change and proposes a “flying S” hypothesis to predict greenhouse gas emissions in East Asia. By applying our theory to empirical data, we provide an alternative framework to predict CO 2 emissions in 2030 and beyond.",
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AB - Background: China and other developing countries in Asia follow similar economic growth patterns described by the flying geese (FG) model, which explains the “catching-up” process of industrialization in latecomer economies. Japan, newly industrialized economies, and China have followed this path, with similar economic development trajectories. Based on the FG model, we postulated a “flying S” hypothesis stating that if a country is located within an FG region and its energy matrix is relatively constant, its per capita CO 2 emission curve will mirror that of “leading geese” countries in the same FG group. Method: Historical CO 2 emissions data were obtained from literature review and national reports and were calculated using bottom-up methods. A sigmoid-shaped, non-linear mixed effect model was applied to examine ex post data with 1000 simulated predictions to construct 95% empirical bands from these fits. By multiplying by estimated population, we predicted total emissions of selected FG countries. Results: Per capita CO 2 emissions from the same FG group mirror each other, especially among second and third industrial sectors. We estimated an annual 18,252.24 million tons of CO 2 emissions (MtCO 2 ) (95% CI = 9458.88–23,972.88) in China and 8281.76 MtCO2 (95% CI = 2765.68–14,959.12) in India in 2030. Conclusion: This study bridges the macroeconomic FG paradigm to study climate change and proposes a “flying S” hypothesis to predict greenhouse gas emissions in East Asia. By applying our theory to empirical data, we provide an alternative framework to predict CO 2 emissions in 2030 and beyond.

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