Effectively treating industrial SO2 emissions depends on the synergy of different factors from the industrial SO2 generation source to the end of treatment. This study proposes a multi-region decomposition and attribution analysis approach to analyze the contributions of SO2 emissions treatment. The approach can decompose industrial SO2 emissions into six specific driving factors, including three whole process treatment (WPT) dimensions (i.e. source prevention, process control, and end-of-pipe treatment). This provides more detailed information about each factor’s treatment effect from both temporal and spatial perspectives, and the contribution of each region to the key driving factors. The empirical study across 30 regions in China using data from 2005-2015 shows that the end-of-pipe treatment is the dominant dimension for decreasing industrial SO2 emissions, of which Shandong, Inner Mongolia and Guangdong are the main contributors. The energy structure is the main factor promoting industrial SO2 emissions reduction in the source prevention dimension. The treatment emphases are different among regions, and regions can be classified into four categories. Based on the empirical results, this paper identifies the policy implications of promoting China’s industrial SO2 emissions reduction.
Keywords whole process treatment, industrial SO2, index decomposition analysis, attribution analysis