To control global mean temperature at the levels proposed by the Paris Agreement, energy systems need to be net-zero emission systems by mid-century. In 2014, global carbon emissions increased by only 0.5%, and China had contributed to the reduction in emissions. Therefore, a discussion of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant emissions in China for 2014 is important, as China is one of the world’s largest emitters. Taking Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Chongqing as examples, we identified 251 power plants with a capacity of greater than 6,000 kW in these four municipalities. In addition, we calculated carbon emissions and air pollutant emissions of five types of power generators in China based on a life cycle assessment. The results illustrate that the thermal power plants and biomass power plants account for most of the emissions (including SO2, CO2, and NOx emissions, 1.87E+09 kg) in the power sector, and the emissions of new energy power generation (2.68E+06 kg) are concentrated in Chongqing. According to the analysis, emissions of CO2 markedly exceed the emissions of SO2 and NOx, with carbon emissions being 156 times that of air pollutants. These results provide new insights into the reduction of carbon emissions and air pollutant emissions for governments and stakeholders.
Keywords LCA; Carbon emissions; Air pollutant; emissions; China; Power plants