China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide, with industrial carbon emissions (ICE) accounting for approximately 65% of the country’s total emissions. Understanding the ICE decoupling patterns and factors influencing the decoupling status is a prerequisite for balancing economic growth and carbon emissions. This paper provides an overview of ICE based on decoupling elasticity and the Tapio decoupling model. Furthermore, the study identifies the factors contributing to ICE changes in China, using the Kaya identity and Log Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) techniques. Based on the effects and contributions of ICE, we close with a number of recommendations. The results revealed a significant upward trend of ICE during the study period 1994 to 2013, with a total amount of 11,147 million tons. Analyzing the decoupling relationship indicates that “weak decoupling” and “expansive decoupling” were the main states during the study period. The decomposition analysis showed that per capita wealth associated with industrial outputs and energy intensity are the main driving force of ICE, while energy intensity of industrial output and energy structure are major determinants for ICE reduction. The largest contributing cumulative effect to ICE is per capita wealth, at 1.23 in 2013. This factor is followed by energy intensity, with a contributing cumulative effect of −0.32. The cumulative effects of energy structure and population are relatively small, at 0.01 and 0.08, respectively.
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