Embodied greenhouse gas emission by Macao

J. S. Li, G. Q. Chen, T. M. Lai, B. Ahmad, Z. M. Chen, L. Shao, Xi Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Comprehensive inventory of cities' greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) is the basis for cities to make appropriate mitigation plans. However, previous studies on cities' GHG emissions consider emissions occurring within the city boundary (Scope 1) and out of boundary electricity emissions (Scope 2), but neglect indirect emissions associated with commodities consumed by cities (Scope 3), resulting in emission leakage. To cope with this problem, a systematic accounting covering all 3 scopes is presented in a case study of Macao for the years 2005-2009, based on the latest embodied emission intensity databases for China and for the world. The results show that total emissions are dominated by indirect emissions mainly embodied in imports, which is 3-4 times direct emissions during the period concerned. It is verified that accounting under Scopes 1 and 2 cannot capture the full picture of cities' emissions, especially cities like Macao which are dominated by service industry and inevitably sustained by massive materials and services from other regions. Our study suggests that Macao should adjust its current GHG mitigation policies which consider only its emissions occurring within its border, as Macao is a net GHG emissions importer. This work is the first assessment of Macao's embodied GHG emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-833
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer's responsibility
  • Greenhouse gas emission
  • Macao


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