The CAS research group Airborne: Pollution, Climate Change, and New Visions of Sustainability in China has invited Prof. Andreas Oberheitmann to give this lecture.

Andreas Oberheitmann

FOM University of Applied Sciences (Essen, Germany), Research coordinator German-Sino School of Business & Technology
RWI – Leibnitz Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Essen, Germany), Guest Research Fellow


China is the World’s largest energy consumer and emitter of global greenhouse gases. China’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the mitigation of global climate change submitted to the UNFCCC on 3 September 2016 as China’s pledge for COP21 in Paris, inter alia, includes the increase the share of non-fossil energy sources in the total primary energy supply to around 20% by 2030, the increase the share of natural gas in the total primary energy supply to around 10% by 2020 and to lower the carbon intensity of GDP by 60% to 65% below 2005 levels by 2030. The CO2-intensity goal for 2020 is a reduction of CO2-emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% against 2005.

The national emission reduction target has to be transformed into actions on the national, provincial and local level. The development of a Low Carbon Economy is a vital instrument to encounter climate change and take into account the growing challenges of an increasing urbanization in China. Wuxi City in East China's Jiangsu Province is starting to implement a Low Carbon City Plan for safeguarding a sustainable development of the city until 2020 and beyond.

The presentation aims at estimating the impact of the Low Carbon City plan for Wuxi's energy demand and CO2-emissions until 2050. Using an econometric energy supply and demand model to estimate and forecast the Wuxi energy and CO2-balance aggregates until 2050, it compares a scenario without specific Low Carbon City measures to reduce sectoral CO2-intensities to a Low Carbon scenario implementing these measures according to the Low Carbon City Plan until 2020 and beyond. The decomposition of the Kaya-identity reveals that the increase of per capita in-come has the largest impact on the growth of CO2-emissions and the decrease of energy intensity of Gross Value Added the largest impact on the reduction of CO2-emissions in Wuxi.

Only following the assumed national trend with a shift from CO2-intensive industries to cleaner service sectors, in Wuxi the Low Carbon goal of a 50% reduction of CO2-intensity of Gross Value Added compared to 2005 cannot be reached. Specific sectoral CO2-intensity goals have to be successfully observed by the economic sectors in Wuxi, especially by industry. The promotion of combined heat and power generation and the use of renewable energies also have to contribute to the specific low carbon activities in Wuxi City.

Open to all