China has achieved a political consensus around the need to transform the path of economic growth toward one that lowers carbon intensity and ultimately leads to reductions in carbon emissions, but there remain different views on pathways that could achieve such a transformation. The essential question is whether radical or incremental reforms are required in the coming decades. This study explores relevant pathways in China beyond 2020, particularly modeling the major target choices of carbon emission peaking in China around 2030 as China-US Joint Announcement by an integrated assessment model for climate change IAMC based on carbon factor theory. Here scenarios DGS-2020, LGS2025, LBS-2030 and DBS-2040 derived from the historical pathways of developed countries are developed to access the comprehensive impacts on the economy, energy and climate security for the greener development in China. The findings suggest that the period of 2025-2030 is the window of opportunity to achieve a peak in carbon emissions at a level below 12 Gt CO<inf>2</inf> and 8.5 t per capita by reasonable trade-offs from economy growth, annually -0.2% in average and cumulatively -3% deviation to BAU in 2030. The oil and natural gas import dependence will exceed 70% and 45% respectively while the non-fossil energy and electricity share will rise to above 20% and 45%. Meantime, the electrification level in end use sectors will increase substantially and the electricity energy ratio approaching 50%, the labor and capital productivity should be double in improvements and the carbon intensity drop by 65% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level, and the cumulative emission reductions are estimated to be more than 20 Gt CO<inf>2</inf> in 2015-2030.
Chai, Q. M., & Xu, H. Q. (2014). Modeling an emissions peak in China around 2030: Synergies or trade-offs between economy, energy and climate security. Advances in Climate Change Research, 5(4), 169–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accre.2015.06.001