As China is the largest greenhouse gas emitter and has the characteristics of significant regional disparity, the issue of regional low-carbon development strategy is of vital importance for the achievement of the country’s long-term emission targets. This work focused on China’s long-term carbon emission abatement from the perspective of regional disparity. We firstly analyzed the national emission trajectories consistent with the current Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), 2 °C, and 1.5 °C goals in two economic growth pathways by 2050 using a linear programming model, then classified the provinces into three categories, and compared results of different scenarios of regional disparity patterns, economic growth rates, and emission targets. Results showed that different regional patterns led to different required carbon reduction targets for all categories, and the regional emission reduction measures had to be stronger in a higher growth rate or a more stringent emission target, especially for the developed areas. A scheme of regionally coordinated low-carbon development was then recommended for the formulation of long-term regional emission targets, and carbon reduction strategies for categories were proposed in terms of energy mix optimization, industrial transformation, and technology innovation, which is of great policy implication for China in regional development and national emission targets enhancement.
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