Reducing transportation CO2 emissions and addressing population characteristic changes are two major challenges facing China, involving various requirements for sustainable economic development. This paper decomposed the population characteristics into population growth, population distribution, population quality, population living standard and age structure, by using STIRPAT model and panel data from 2000 to 2019 to explore the impact of population characteristics on China’s transportation CO2 emissions. Further, we analyzed the impact mechanism and emission effect of population aging on transportation CO2 emissions. Results show that during 2000-2019: (1) population aging and population quality restrain the transportation CO2 emissions, but the negative impact of population aging is indirectly produced by economic growth and transportation demand. And with the aggravation of population aging, the impact on transportation CO2 emissions changes and presents a U-shaped. (2) Population living standard on transportation CO2 emissions exhibits an urban – rural difference, and urban living standard was dominant in transportation CO2 emissions. Additionally, population growth has a weakly positive effect on transportation CO2 emissions, while population distribution has no significant effect on transportation CO2 emissions. (3) At the regional level, the effect of population aging on transportation CO2 emissions shows regional differences.
Keywords Transportation CO2 emissions, STIRPAT model, Population characteristics, Population aging