A bibliometric study of carbon neutrality: 2001-2022

Andy W.L. Chung, Wai Ming To

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon neutrality refers to a state of net-zero carbon emissions that can be achieved by balancing the discharge and removal of carbon compounds into and from the atmosphere. It is a crucial step to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change. This study aims to reveal the development of carbon neutrality research using a bibliometric approach. Using a keyword search of carbon neutrality (or carbon neutral), 8,071 publications including journal articles, review articles, conference papers, book chapters, and books were identified from 2001 to 2022 (up to 8 October) from Scopus. Data were analysed using Scopus bibliometric tools and VOSviewer. The results show that the number of carbon neutrality publications has increased exponentially in the past two years and Chinese researchers have produced most of the publications, followed by U.S. researchers. Co-occurrence of keywords analysis showed that four clusters of carbon neutrality research have emerged, namely carbon neutrals using biofuels and hydrogen; carbon neutralities focusing on energy efficiency, energy utilisation and renewable energies; carbon neutrality aiming to achieve sustainable development, and greenhouse gas emissions from coal. The findings of the study suggest that future research should focus on biomass and biofuels as they are key reservoirs of carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalTransactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number2 Special Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bibliometric
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Carbon offsetting
  • China
  • Scopus


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