DOI: 10.3390/atmos14121800 ISSN: 2073-4433

Analysis of Carbon Emission Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Herder Households: A County-Scale Investigation of the Sanjiangyuan Region on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

Changsu Song, Lu Liu, Chaofan Xian, Fan Feng, Zhiyun Ouyang
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

With further urbanization, household consumption firmly plays a key role in China’s national carbon emissions. However, current research concerning carbon issues has mainly focused on urban household consumption, and few studies have paid attention to herder households, leading to a research gap in the field of low-carbon shifting related to nomadic economies. In this study, we interviewed more than one-thousand herder households in the Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in China. The household carbon emissions and their influencing factors were investigated across the herder households of 15 counties. Our findings revealed the following: (1) There exist differences in the amounts of household carbon emissions and their compositions in the Sanjiangyuan region. From the perspective of spatial distribution, the emission hotspots are mainly concentrated in the eastern part of the Sanjiangyuan region. (2) At the prefecture level, average personal emissions were larger in the Hainan Prefecture (3.26 t ce/year), while they were approximately 1.36 times that of the Huangnan Prefecture (2.4 t ce/year), though with smaller personal emissions. The indirect carbon emissions of the four prefectures all occupied larger percentages of household carbon emissions that were mainly contributed by food consumption and housing. (3) Family type was the main diver influencing personal carbon emissions in the Huangnan Prefecture, Guoluo Prefecture, and Yushu Prefecture. The more people living in the household, the lower the per capita carbon emissions. However, the effect size of potential carbon reductions was weakened when the number of family members rose to over three. (4) We propose that grazing prohibitions and low-carbon dietary shifts would contribute to low-carbon herder livelihoods, especially for small-sized households that should be peer-to-peer targeted by regional government propaganda, which may help to strengthen the implementation of in-depth low-carbon promotions across the Sanjiangyuan region and even the overall Qinghai–Tibet Plateau.

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