The Decoupling of Industrial Sulfur Dioxide Emissions from Gross Regional Product Per Capita in Beijing


  • Shaun Magnaye MacEwan University


Through the use of a case study, I explore the relationship between industrial sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions and gross regional product (GRP) in Beijing between 2001 and 2018. By using data from the China Statistical Yearbook, I show that GRP per capita grew while industrial SO2 emissions fell. Further, I show how expansions of the technique and composition effects of economic activity contributed to this decoupling process. More specifically, I explore the significance of changes like increased desulfurization and the growth of the tertiary industry and how these factors led to a decrease in industrial SO2 emissions while GRP grew. I also explore how key events and experiences in Beijing’s history influenced the motivation to improve air quality and how these changes in motivation contributed to the decoupling process.

Department: Economics 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ergete Ferede