2021 Summer Student Research Project | Individual Carbon Footprint in China by 2050


Coraline Goron, Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy

Junjie Zhang, Associate Professor of Environmental Economics; Director of the Master of Environmental Policy Program; Director of the Environmental Research Center

Project Description

China pledged to achieve carbon emission peaking by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 in September 2020. Since then, a lot of research has predicted China’s low-carbon development pathway on the production side, while few have focused on individuals’ and households’ emission projection. China is anticipated to have 1.4 trillion people by 2050, with 80% of them living in urban areas, making energy consumption in daily life an increasingly important source of carbon emission. In this research project, we depict the individual carbon footprint in China in the mid-century with three focuses: eating, living, and traveling. With the methodology of literature review and scenario analysis, we create the analytical models to capture the changes in key driving factors that influence the activity levels and emission factors. We found that per capita carbon emissions in road transportation, aviation, building, and agriculture sectors are expected to have percentage changes of -80%, 457%, -80%, and -2%, respectively.

Student Researchers

Haoyang Dong is a senior majoring in political economy with a track in economics at Duke Kunshan University. His research interests lie in energy transition policy analysis and modelling. He is responsible for the analysis of carbon emission of the building sector in this research project.

Chunxin Tang is a senior at Duke Kunshan University. She is from Environmental Science in Chemistry track. She hopes to pursue higher education in Environmental data science and work as a consultant on sustainable production. She is interested in data analysis application in environmental studies and is mainly responsible for carbon emission modeling in the transportation sector in this project.

Lihan Huang is a senior in the undergraduate program at Duke Kunshan University. She currently studies environmental science with a track in biogeochemistry. Her research interests include 2060 Carbon Neutral feasibility prediction and the connection between natural ecosystems and the Global Carbon cycle.

Research Poster