Cities are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. More than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from cities. Many big cities around the world are pursuing low carbon development. Since the launch of low carbon pilot cities program, Chinese government is taking serious low carbon city development.

Through the case study in Chengdu, we find:

1) Chengdu’s energy consumption and carbon emissions have sustained rapid growth along with socio-economic development.

2) If the annual average GDP growth rate between 2016 and 2030 was one percentage point higher than the proposed one, energy demand in 2030 would rise 7.1% under S1, 6.8% under S2, and 6.1% under S3; while carbon emissions in 2030 would rise over the same period: 7.1% for S1, 6.6% for S2 and 5.6% for S3, and it would be impossible for carbon emissions to peak before 2030.

3) Chengdu should make further optimization to industrial structure from three levels: sectoral level, sub-sectoral level within industry sector, and product-level.

4) Looking forward, transport and building sectors will contribute larger proportions. The size of population, urban planning and technologies will collectively have a significant impact.

5) In face of continuing growth of energy demand, the only way to get carbon emissions to peak early is to improve the energy mix.

6) Low carbon development requires an energy consumption and carbon emission statistic and management system to provide technical support.