Socioeconomic factors influencing atmospheric mercury emission changes in China
WU Xiao-hui1, XU Li-xiao1, QI Jian-chuan2, LIANG Sai2, WANG Shu-xiao3
1. School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 2. Key Laboratory for City Cluster Environmental Safety and Green Development of the Ministry of Education, Institute of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; 3. School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100875, China
Abstract：Atmospheric mercury emissions in China during 1997~2017 were calculated by the input-output model from the production and final demand perspectives. Combined with structural decomposition analysis, the relative contributions of socioeconomic factors to atmospheric mercury emissions were also analyzed. The results showed that two big production side sectors discharging large amounts of atmospheric mercury emissions were cement and cement asbestos (135t) and nonferrous metal smelting and processing (86t). On the consumption side, the two major sectors with large atmospheric mercury emissions were mainly construction (219t) and motor vehicles (16t). The relative contributions of socioeconomic factors were different across emission sources and sectors. The increase in per capita final demand volume was the dominant factor driving atmospheric mercury emissions, where nonferrous metal smelting and processing, electricity and heat, cement and cement asbestos were the main sectors responsible for the increasing emissions. The decline in mercury emission intensity was the main factor mitigating atmospheric mercury emissions, where nonferrous metal smelting and processing, electricity and heat, cement and cement asbestos were also the main sectors for the reductions. In this period, the changes in the production structure, final demand sectoral structure, and final demand category structure had led to a slight increase in atmospheric mercury emissions. However, in the same period, the number of emission sources and sectors with a decrease in mercury emissions, due to changes in these three structural factors, had also increased. Based on these results, several relevant policy recommendations were proposed from the perspectives of production-chain-wide control and socioeconomic structure optimization.
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