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Embodied Carbon Dioxide Emission by the Globalized Economy: A Systems Ecological Input-Output Simulation

Z. M. Chen1, G. Q. Chen2,3*and B. Chen4,3

  1. School of Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  2. State Key Laboratory of Turbulence and Complex Systems, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China
  3. Nonlinear Analysis and Applied Mathematics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  4. State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China

*Corresponding author. Tel: +86-10-6276716 Fax: +86-10-62754289 Email:


This study presents an embodiment analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission originated in fossil fuels combustion for the world economy in 2004. A global embodied CO2 intensity database associated with 112 regions and 57 sectors is obtained by applying the systems ecological input-output simulation, based on which the regional embodied CO2 inventories are compiled to investigate the emissions instigated by particular economic activities. Globally, CO2 emissions embodied in household fossil fuels combustion, in household commodity consumption, in government commodity consumption, and in investment are 3.99, 13.83, 2.07, and 5.22 Gt, respectively. As an indicator to reveal the average occupation of carbon welfare, regional per capita CO2 emission embodied in consumption varies from 0.12 t in Ethiopia to 45.16 t in Rest of North America. The severe inequality between regions is characterized by the high Gini coefficients for CO2 emissions (0.56 for direct emission and 0.58 for embodiment). And finally, the interregional carbon leakage in terms of net leakage, spill-over, and diversion is illustrated via dividing the world into three coalitions according to respective economic statuses.

Keywords: carbon dioxide, embodiment analysis, fossil energy, international trade, systems ecological input-output simulation, world economy

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