Household Carbon Emission Disparities Induced by Differentiated Lifestyles: A Sociodemographic Multidimensional Analysis

47 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2022

See all articles by Yixuan Zhang

Yixuan Zhang

Cardiff University

Xiangjie Zhu

Peking University HSBC Business School

Gongtao Zhang

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics

Xi Liang

University College London

Yi Wu

University College London

Abstract

Using survey data for 3863 households from 30 provinces (cities) in China, this study investigates how differentiated household characteristics and lifestyles lead to household carbon emission disparities. The results indicate that families with children tend to emit the least, while the highest household per capita emissions (HCEs) come from single households. The HCE shows an upward trend with respect to income level, and the developed regions have higher HCEs. Furthermore, the urban HCE is 1.7 times that of the rural areas. The results also reveal that cooking, house heating and water heating have become the main sources of emissions, and cooking emissions are negatively correlated with household income. Significant urban-rural and demographic HCE disparities are identified across different emission activities. The findings also highlight the lifestyles of single and elderly households. Single households have significantly higher cooking and water heating frequencies than couple households. Particularly, the highest cooking frequency is seen in the elderly single households, while single adults have the highest water heating frequency. Similarly, elderly households have intensive emissions from cooking, water heating and house heating. Limited energy access in low-income households and a large inequality in energy consumption across households with different incomes are identified. Accordingly, relevant policymaking suggestions are summarized based on our findings, by which the government could reduce household emissions and inequality. We suggest paying more attention to the single and high-income households through low-carbon education, while for low-income and elderly households it is important to offer subsidies for energy-efficient appliances so that outdated, and especially energy-inefficient, cooking equipment and heaters can be updated. Finally, tiered pricing of electricity is especially suggested for the decarbonization of higher-income households.

Keywords: Household carbon emissions, Lifestyle, Demographic, Single, Elderly, urban-rural

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Yixuan and Zhu, Xiangjie and Zhang, Gongtao and Liang, Xi and Wu, Yi, Household Carbon Emission Disparities Induced by Differentiated Lifestyles: A Sociodemographic Multidimensional Analysis. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4188614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4188614

Yixuan Zhang

Cardiff University ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

Xiangjie Zhu

Peking University HSBC Business School ( email )

Gongtao Zhang

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics ( email )

Chengdu
China

Xi Liang

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Yi Wu (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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