This is a brief description of studies that exemplify the methods and approaches that have been developed and used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers in conducting integrated assessments. See the complete list of Integrated Assessment Briefs to find out more about ORNL's efforts in integrated assessment. Contact Mike Farrell ( for more information.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China

Primary energy output and carbon emissions for China.

What are the institutional, legal, and cultural constraints and opportunities to reduce green-house gas emissions in China?

China accounts for about 7% of all world greenhouse gas emissions and is the fourth largest country source behind the United States, the former Soviet Union, and Brazil. About three-fourths of China's carbon emissions are from the production and conversion of coal. China is willing to cooperate in reducing coal use because it is the major source of air pollution and acid rain. Any agreements on limiting the use of coal directly benefit China in terms of reduced acid rain and improved public health.

However, the reality is that China will continue to develop and consume coal as its primary source of energy well into the next century. There are simply no other choices given its desire to expand its economy, its need to get power projects online, and its comparative advantage in coal production. China's participation in an international global warming treaty will only come if the industrialized countries take responsibility for the problem and demonstrate a desire to share the economic burdens of industrial and energy sector reductions equitably through resource transfers.

Perlack, R. D., M. Russell, and Z. Shen. 1993. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in China: Institutional, legal, and cultural constraints and opportunities. Global Environmental Change 3(1):78 100.

Perlack, R. D. and M. Russell. 1991. Energy and environmental policy in China. pp. 205-223. In Annual Review of Energy. J. M. Hollander et al. (eds.), Annual Review Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

Where To?

[ Next Brief | Section 3 | Table of Contents for ORNL Integrated Assessment Briefs ]

Integrated Assessment Briefs. 1995. ORNL/M-4227. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.