Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions of freight transport sector in China

Yihui Tian, Qinghua Zhu, Kee Hung Lai, Y. H. Venus Lun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the increasing commercial activities in China, the rapid growth of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the freight transport sector has alarmed the Chinese central government. However, there is a lack of standard measure for evaluating GHG emissions generated from freight transport operations. To improve this situation, Chinese policy makers need to evaluate GHG emissions for energy saving and pollution reduction. This background leads us to examine the GHG emission trajectories and features of Chinese freight transport patterns in the last decade, i.e. between 2000 and 2011. In this study, we examine different regions' freight turnover and energy consumption by various transport modes (i.e. railway, highway, waterway, aircraft, and oil pipeline) in China. Our results show that the total amount of GHG emissions caused by the Chinese freight transport sector reached 978 million tons in 2011, indicating an average annual growth of 74 million tons CO2e for the last decade. Shandong, Anhui, and Henan are the main provinces producing GHG emissions, representing 11.7%, 10.3%, and 10% of total emissions generated from the freight transport sector in China, respectively. This study also compares the regional GHG emissions from different freight transport modes including railway, highway, waterway, air transport, and oil pipeline. Based on the findings, policy implications are provided on how to mitigate freight transport emissions among different Chinese regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • China
  • Freight transport sector
  • Greenhouse gas emission
  • Regional emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions of freight transport sector in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this