What is it about?

A city’s economic structure and energy mix would change when the city is developed to accommodate more residents, visitors, and activities. This paper reviews Macao’s economic growth, energy use, and greenhouse gases (GHG) emission from 1985 to 2020.

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Why is it important?

Our findings showed that Macao’s GDP increased by over 39.4-fold from MOP 11 billion in 1985 to MOP 445 billion in 2019. During the same period, Macao’s total energy use increased by 4.5-fold to 48,330 TJ while its GHG emission increased by 7.8-fold to 6.13 Mt of CO2-eq. Due to the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Macao’s GDP dropped by 56% to MOP 194 billion while its total energy use and GHG emission dropped by 33% and 17% respectively in 2020. A Kaya decomposition analysis revealed that Macao’s energy intensity has improved dramatically since 1985 since it shifted from a more manufacturing-based to almost pure tourism-based economy in the past 35 years. However, Macao’s GHG intensity increased quite substantially after 2005 due to increase in the imported electricity from a coal-fired power plant in Zhuhai.


Economic growth, energy use, and GHG emission are inseparably topics when we study sustainability. I hope this article can draw researchers attention to look at the development of a city using a holistic approach. In particular, cities consume a huge amount of resources that may include "imported electricity" from their neighboring regions. But who pay the price i.e. bear the environmental burden such as GHG and other pollutant emissions? Additionally, more and more electric vehicles are seen in Macao's roads in recent years. Although electric vehicles do not produce air pollutants directly during their operation, they are way heavier than normal vehicles and they might discharge more GHG than we can image...

Professor W.M. To
Macao Polytechnic University

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This page is a summary of: Economic Growth, Energy Use, and Greenhouse Gases Emission in Macao SAR, China, Chinese Journal of Urban and Environmental Studies, February 2022, World Scientific Pub Co Pte Lt, DOI: 10.1142/s2345748122500026.
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