Climate Change Research ›› 2013, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (3): 210-215.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-1719.2013.03.009

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Disaggregation of Carbon Emission Drivers in Kaya Identity and Its Limitations with Regard to Policy Implications

Yuan Lu, Pan Jiahua   

  1. Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Received:2012-11-06 Revised:2012-12-17 Online:2013-05-30 Published:2013-05-30
  • Contact: Lu YUAN

Abstract: The Kaya identity has been widely used to disaggregate and identify the drivers for the variations in carbon emissions, providing an important role in understanding historical emissions change at macro-level. Kaya identity, with a simple mathematical form, can decompose drivers without residuals. However there are also some limitations with respect to its policy implications. First, Kaya identity can only explain the changes in carbon emissions flow, with limited or no attention to the existing stock of carbon emissions. Second, drivers in Kaya identity are proximate and it誷 difficult to assess their actual impacts on the total emissions. Third, policy implications derived from the conclusions using Kaya identity decomposition can be fuzzy and in conflict with common understanding and practice in reality. This indicates that Kaya identity as an analytical tool requires further examination and investigation with respect to its policy implications.

Key words: carbon emissions, driver, Kaya identity, limitation

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