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Trade decomposition of CO2 emissions of global construction industries

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-01, 00:00 authored by Qun Gao, B Liu, J Sun, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu, Y Xu
PurposeThis paper aims to clarify the CO2 emissions of global construction industries under the consideration of different patterns of international trade and thus to draw a comprehensive picture for understanding the international paths of CO2 transfer to global construction industries.Design/methodology/approachThis research inventories the CO2 emissions induced by the final demand of 15 economies for construction products and explores the CO2 intensities of these economies based on a multi-regional input–output model. This paper further decomposes CO2 emissions into four components based on different patterns of international trade to estimate the roles of four patterns of international trade in shaping the environmental pressures from global construction industries.FindingsThe results indicate that the CO2 intensities of the construction industries in Russia, India and China were higher than those in other economies, and the CO2 intensities of global construction industries experienced a decline over the years 2000–2014. The decomposition analysis demonstrates that domestic and foreign CO2 emissions accounted for 42.67 and 54.23%, respectively, of the CO2 emissions of the construction industries in the 15 economies during the period 2000–2007. Although the major part of the CO2 emissions of the construction industries come from domestic production systems, the final demand for construction products in the 15 economies caused substantial emissions in other economies. Further decomposition by upstream industrial production source indicates that 58.65% of domestic emissions and 66.53% of foreign emissions can be traced back to the electricity industry.Research limitations/implicationsAlthough the major patterns of CO2 emissions of the construction industry have been identified in this paper, the difficulty of understanding the relationship between upstream production industries or countries and the construction industry deserves more attention in the future research.Originality/valuePrevious research on inventorying CO2 emissions has generally been limited to evaluating the impact of industrial consumption activities on national or global emission accounting, tending to ignore the effects of different international trade patterns on the change in industrial CO2 emissions. This research is the first attempt to account for and decompose the CO2 emissions of global construction industries under consideration of the effects of different patterns of international trade on environmental pressures. The decomposition and upstream industrial distributions of different patterns of CO2 emission provide a comprehensive picture for better understanding of the emission pattern and source of the CO2 emissions of global construction industries. The research outcomes reveal how the final demand of a country for construction products induces CO2 emissions in both domestic and foreign systems, thus providing basic information and references for policy adjustment and strategy design in relation to mitigation of climate change and sustainable development.



Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management













Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal