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Title: Decoupling relationship between economic output and carbon emission in the Chinese construction industry
Authors: Wu, Y
Chau, KW
Lu, WS
Shen, LY
Shuai, CY 
Chen, JD
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Environmental impact assessment review, July 2018, v. 71, p. 60-69
Abstract: By positioning in the discourse that economic output is always coupled with natural resource depletion, pollution, and carbon emission, decoupling analysis is widely adopted to evaluate how "quality" economic growth can lead to fewer such downsides so as to encourage sustainable development. This paper aims at examining the decoupling relationship between economic output and carbon emission by focusing on China's construction industry, which is a pillar industry for national economic growth, meanwhile contributes a huge amount of carbon emission. The method of Tapio decoupling model is used to examine the decoupling relationships at both national and provincial levels from 2005 to 2015. It continues to identify the driving force leading to a certain decoupling state by adopting the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI). Results show that: (1) there existed an expansive decoupling relationship between economic growth and construction carbon emission in most provinces of China during 2005-2015; (2) Shanghai presented the best decoupling performance, while in contrast, other provinces such as Guizhou and Fujian displayed expansive negative decoupling state; and (3) "Economic output" played the most significant role in inhibiting the decoupling at both national and provincial levels, while "Indirect carbon intensity" was the main driver for promoting the national decoupling. Although the paper refers to the specific construction of China, the decoupling analysis approach can be extended to other countries as well as to other pollutants such as land pollution, waste water and haze. The understanding of driving forces for the decoupling state in China's construction industry provides international policy-makers with valuable reference for formulating effective measures to balance the dilemma between economic output and carbon emission.
Keywords: Carbon emission
Construction industry
Decoupling analysis
LMDI model
Sustainable development
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Environmental impact assessment review 
ISSN: 0195-9255
EISSN: 1873-6432
DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2018.04.001
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