back to all publications

Mapping global carbon footprints of China

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
May 7, 2020

Developing localized climate mitigation strategies needs an understanding of how global consumption drives local carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with a fine spatial resolution. There is no study that provides a spatially explicit mapping of global carbon footprint in China―the world’s largest CO2 emitter―simultaneously considering both international and interprovincial trade. Here we map CO2 emissions in China driven by global consumption in 2012 at a high spatial resolution (10 km × 10 km) using a detailed, firm-level emission inventory. Our results show that the carbon footprints of foreign regions in China are concentrated in key manufacturing hubs, including the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and North China Plain. Approximately 1% of the land area holds 75% of the global carbon footprint in China. The carbon footprint hotspots in China identified are the key places in which collaborative mitigation efforts between China and downstream parties that drive those emissions.

Zhaohua Wang
Bofeng Cai
Jinnan Wang
Research Areas
Consumer Products & Packaging
Food Systems and Consumer Products
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation
Yang, Yuantao, Shen Qu, Bofeng Cai, Sai Liang, Zhaohua Wang, Jinnan Wang, and Ming Xu. (2020) “Mapping global carbon footprints of China.” Nature Communications 11(2237): 1-8.