This paper studies CO2 emission structure of China from 1957 to 2012 by using newly compiled environmentally-extended historical input-output tables of China. These tables are the first environmentallyextended input-output tables covering the years in the early stage of People’s Republic of China. The result shows that China’s emission structure was stable for almost six decades. Heavy industries contributed about 80% of CO2 emission in 1950s and 1960s, although China was a poor country at that time. Although after economic reform the share of CO2 emitted directly from heavy industries has decreased and that from electricity has increased, a network analysis shows that a significant part of CO2 emitted directly by electricity sector was induced by heavy industries. Therefore heavy industries are still the main contributor of CO2 emission after economic reform. The independent and self-reliance ideology of China leads to stability of emission structure. Because the independent ideology will continue in the future, the only option for China is to increase energy efficiency for the current existing industries.
Keywords Carbon emission; Historical; Industrial structure; Input-output analysis