10 Jan 2023
10 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Emission trends of air pollutants and CO2 in China from 2005 to 2021

Shengyue Li1,2, Shuxiao Wang1,2, Qingru Wu1,2, Yanning Zhang1,2, Daiwei Ouyang1,2, Haotian Zheng1,2, Licong Han1,2, Xionghui Qiu3, Yifan Wen1,2, Min Liu1,2, Yueqi Jiang1,2, Dejia Yin1,2, Kaiyun Liu1,2, Bin Zhao1,2, Shaojun Zhang1,2, Ye Wu1,2, and Jiming Hao1,2 Shengyue Li et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Sources and Control of Air Pollution Complex, Beijing 100084, China
  • 3School of Environment, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

Abstract. China is facing the challenge of synergistic reducing air pollutants and CO2 emissions in the coming decades. The coupled emission inventory of air pollutants and CO2 is a prerequisite to designing the synergetic emission reduction strategy. This study compiled China’s emission inventory of air pollutants and CO2 during 2005–2021 (ABaCAS-EI v2.0 dataset) based on a unified emission source framework and uniformed activity. The mitigation policies have decoupled the emissions of air pollutants and CO2 with economic development in China since 2013. In the context of growing activity levels, energy structure adjustment and energy & material saving brought a 7 % drop in the average annual growth rate of CO2 emissions after 2011; on the basis, end-of-pipe control contributed 51 %–98 % of air pollutants emission reductions after 2013. Sectors of industrial boilers and residential fossil combustion, and seven provinces (including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jilin, Henan, Sichuan, and Qinghai) have achieved emission reductions of both air pollutants and CO2 during 2013–2021. The declining trends in both sectoral and regional emission ratios of air pollutants to CO2 indicated that the potential for synergistic emission reduction in China has declined from 2013 to 2021. The emission ratios in 2021 show that the residential fossil fuel combustion, iron and steel industry, and transportation have relatively higher co-benefits of SO2, PM2.5, NOx, and VOCs emission reductions when reducing CO2 emissions. Most of the cities with higher potential to synergistically reduce NOx, VOCs, and CO2 emissions are located within the Yangtze River Economic Belt; those with higher potential to co-control SO2 and CO2, and PM2.5 and CO2 are in southern and northeast China, respectively. What’s more, a further deconstruction of sectoral emissions in 2021 has suggested future reduction measures. For example, controlling coal consumption in the energy field; promoting innovative technologies with low air pollutant emission intensities and coal-saving effects in the iron and steel industry; combining coal and carbonate replacing technologies with separated particle control measures in the cement industry; controlling light-duty passenger vehicle, heavy-duty truck, agricultural machinery, and inland water transport in the transport field. Our dataset and analysis can provide insights into future co-control of air pollutants and CO2 emissions for China and other countries with the same demand worldwide. Our ABaCAS-EI v2.0 dataset can be accessed from (Li et al., 2022) by species, sector, and province.

Shengyue Li et al.

Status: open (until 07 Mar 2023)

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Shengyue Li et al.

Data sets

Emission trends of air pollutants and CO2 in China from 2005 to 2021 Shengyue Li, Shuxiao Wang, Qingru Wu, Yanning Zhang, Daiwei Ouyang, Haotian Zheng, Licong Han, Xionghui Qiu, Yifan Wen, Min Liu, Yueqi Jiang, Dejia Yin, Kaiyun Liu, Bin Zhao, Shaojun Zhang, Ye Wu, Jiming Hao

Shengyue Li et al.


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Short summary
This study compiled China’s emission inventory of air pollutants and CO2 during 2005–2021 (ABaCAS-EI v2.0) based on unified emission source framework. The emission trends and its drivers are analyzed. Key sectors and regions with higher synergistic reduction potential of air pollutants and CO2 are identified. Future control measures are suggested. The dataset and analyses provide insights into the synergistic reduction of air pollutants and CO2 emissions for China and other developing countries.