Reducing carbon emissions from shopping trips: Evidence from China

Jing Li*, Pingyu Zhang, Tek Sheng Kevin LO, Meng Guo, Mark Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With rising income and the emergence of modern shopping centers in urban China, shopping trips by private car becomes more and more common, leading to higher carbon emissions in the transport sector. Encouraging car owners to shift transport mode from private car to public transport could achieve significant emissions reductions. This study estimate carbon emissions savings by shifting from private cars to public transport for shopping trips in urban China, using Shenyang, one of the largest cities in China, as a case study. Our results show that the average carbon emissions per shopper is 426.9 g, and the carbon emissions on weekends is 13% higher than weekdays. Moreover, shoppers travelling by private car emitted five times more carbon emission than those by public transport. We also found that car ownership gradually increased as accessibility to public transport decreased, and that more car owners chose to travel by private cars than public transport in areas with limited access. This study, thus, highlights the potential for high-quality public transport to reduce the transport sector's carbon emissions in urban China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10043-10057
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Carbon emissions
  • China
  • Shopping
  • Transport
  • Travel mode
  • Urban


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