To achieve a low-carbon economy, China has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide (CO2
) emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40%–45% by 2020 from 2005 levels and increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to approximately 15%. It is necessary to investigate whether this plan is suitable and how this target may be reached. This paper verifies the feasibility of achieving the CO2
emission targets by energy and industrial structure adjustments, and proposes applicable measures for further sustainable development by 2020 through comprehensive simulation. The simulation model comprises three sub-models: an energy flow balance model, a CO2
emission model, and a socio-economic model. The model is constructed based on input-output table and three balances (material, value, and energy flow balance), and it is written in LINGO, a linear dynamic programming language. The simulation results suggest that China’s carbon intensity reduction promise can be realized and even surpassed to 50% and that economic development (annual 10% GDP growth rate) can be achieved if energy and industrial structure are adjusted properly by 2020. However, the total amount of CO2
emission will reach a relatively high level—13.68 billion tons—which calls for further sound approaches to realize a low carbon economy, such as energy utilization efficiency improvement, technology innovation, and non-fossil energy’s utilization.