The identification of driving factors of the carbon emission is fundamental for the policy makings of carbon reductions, especially at national level. In this study, the structural decomposition analysis (SDA) is applied for 112 countries in the world from 1990 to 2014. This method can not only provide a straightforward link between carbon and energy in social economic systems but also give a comprehensive perspective to probe the driving forces of carbon emission from both production and consumption sides. In this study, the carbon dioxide emission is decomposed into six driving factors: population, fuel mix, energy intensity, production structure, consumption patterns and consumption volume. Then the contributions of five final consumers and the six driving factors to the total carbon dioxide emissions are quantified. Based on three indicators (emission volume, emission structure and driving factor growth rate) and Dynamic Time Warping, the study countries are classified into five groups: 1. the USA. 2. China and India. 3. The developed country in Europe. 4: Developing countries with decreasing trend of emission. 5: Developing countries with increasing trend of emission. Meanwhile, the results showed that the developed country in Europe, which is group 3, has successfully reduced the carbon emissions by the promotion of energy intensity. However, the developing countries, still have a long way to go to reduce their carbon emissions based on the historical emission patterns of all the developed countries in group 3. The investigation of the driving forces for different consumers shows that the production structure change (that prosperity in the real estate industry and other related industries) and the growth of gross fixed capital investments would negatively affect the carbon reductions in developing countries.
Keywords Carbon emission; structural decomposition analysis; input-output analysis; Dynamic Time Warping