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Analysis of China’s High-Carbon Manufacturing Industry’s Carbon Emissions in the Digital Process

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Journal Article

Peng, Wenxiang, Yutao Lei, and Xuan Zhang. 2023. “Analysis of China’s High-Carbon Manufacturing Industry’s Carbon Emissions in the Digital Process.” Sustainability 15 (20): 14785. https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014785.

In order to realize the coordinated development of digitalization and low-carbon emissions, it is important to understand the carbon implications of the digitization of the high-carbon manufacturing (HCM) industry; therefore, this paper focuses on studying the formation and change mechanism of China’s HCM carbon emissions in the digital process. Specifically, based on input–output and energy data, we not only compute the carbon emissions embodied in the digital process of various HCM subsectors and analyze their temporal changes but also reveal the change mechanism by identifying their supply chain tiers and crucial transfer paths. The results show that (1) the digital process of HCM can reduce carbon emissions; (2) the carbon emissions embodied in the digital process of HCM are increasing with time and shifting from low-supply chain tiers to high-supply chain tiers; and (3) the embodied emissions, supply chain tiers, and crucial paths in the digital process of HCM show spatial heterogeneity. We suggest that attention should be paid to increasing embodied emissions in the supply chain tiers and regional differences during the acceleration of HCM digitization, followed by the implementation of appropriate digital carbon neutral policies.

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