Dr Yuli Shan PhD

Profile picture of Dr Yuli Shan

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor in Sustainable Transitions

Dr Yuli Shan is an expert in climate change mitigation and sustainable transitions. His interdisciplinary research aims to reveal how human activities affect global and regional climate change. He also seeks alternative low-carbon approaches towards the achievement of climate targets and a net-zero emission society.

Dr Yuli Shan is a Global Highly Cited Researcher since 2020 and a contributing author of the IPCC 6th assessment report. His international reputation for environmental resources accounting and climate change mitigation in developing countries has resulted in 20+ academic awards, 100+ publications in high-impact journals, high-profile media coverage, international conference and committee invites.


  • PhD in Climate Change and Development, University of East Anglia (2018)
  • Master of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University (2014)
  • BSc in Statistics and Actuarial Science, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics (2012)


Dr Yuli Shan is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Transitions at the University of Birmingham. He is a global highly cited researcher in 2020. Before joining the University of Birmingham, he worked at the University of Groningen as a Faculty Research Fellow. He got a doctoral degree from the University of East Anglia (2018) and a master’s degree from Fudan University (2014).

Yuli is a contributing author of the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and an executive committee member of the National Association of Input-Output and Big Data of China. Yuli has rich experience with publishing, reviewing, and editing journal papers. He is an editorial board member of Scientific Data, Advances in Applied Energy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Advances in Climate Change Research, and Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.

Yuli has won a dozen academic prizes including the Green Talents awarded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The jury especially valued the scientific expertise regarding his research on the adaption and investigation of sustainable policies in cities. Yuli has been interviewed by internationally renowned media such as Reuters, Financial Times, and Xinhua net to discuss city-level sustainable development.
He is the winner of the 2023 Birmingham Founder's Awards for Early Career.


Teaching at the University of Birmingham

  • Climate Change in the Earth System - UG year 3
  • Global Environmental Issues - UG year 1
  • Field course (Tokyo)

CEADs summer school

Previous teaching at the University of Groningen

  • Conceptualizing and Modeling Human-Environmental Systems - PGR
  • Data Analysis and Statistical Methods – PGR

Postgraduate supervision

Climate Change Mitigation and Economics; Sustainable Transitions; Accounting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Yuli’s research focuses on Accounting for Carbon EmissionsClimate Change Economics, and Sustainable Development, with a special focus on developing countries and cities. He has published over 100 papers in high-impact journals, such as Nature Climate ChangeNature SustainabilityNature GeoscienceNature Food, and Science Advances. His paper has been cited over 11,000 times (h-index 47), and 25 of them are ESI highly cited papers and 18 are hot papers. He has co-built an open emission dataset (CEADs) to provide the most up-to-date regional emission and energy data for emerging countries and subnational regions. CEADs has been downloaded by 100+ thousand times per year and reused in over 1,000 journal papers.

Academic Posts

  • Associate Professor (2022-), University of Birmingham
  • Faculty Research Fellow (2019-2022), University of Groningen
  • Senior Research Associate (2018-2019), University of East Anglia

Other activities

  • Contributing author of the IPCC 6th assessment report, working group III
  • Editorial Board Member for Scientific Data and Advances in Applied Energy
  • Associate Editor for Journal of Cleaner Production; Advances in Climate Change Research; Green and Low-Carbon Economy; Frontiers in Sustainable Cities
  • Executive committee member of the National Association of Input-Output and Big Data of China
  • Member of several academic communities, including International Society for Energy Transition Studies; International Input-Output Association; Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; International Society for Industrial Ecology
  • Affiliated Researcher at the University of Groningen (IRES - Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society)


Highlight publications

Shan, Y, Guan, D, Zheng, H, Ou, J, Li, Y, Meng, J, Mi, Z, Liu, Z & Zhang, Q 2018, 'China CO2 emission accounts 1997–2015', Scientific Data. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.201

Guan, D, Meng, J, Reiner, DM, Zhang, N, Shan, Y, Mi, Z, Shao, S, Liu, Z, Zhang, Q & Davis, SJ 2018, 'Structural decline in China’s CO2 emissions through transitions in industry and energy systems', Nature Geoscience. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0161-1

Shan, Y, Guan, D, Hubacek, K, Zheng, B, Davis, SJ, Jia, L, Liu, J, Liu, Z, Fromer, N, Mi, Z, Meng, J, Deng, X, Li, Y, Lin, J, Schroeder, H, Weisz, H & Schellnhuber, HJ 2018, 'City-level climate change mitigation in China', Science Advances. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaq0390

Shan, Y, Fang, S, Cai, B, Zhou, Y, Li, D, Feng, K & Hubacek, K 2021, 'Chinese cities exhibit varying degrees of decoupling of economic growth and CO2 emissions between 2005 and 2015', One Earth, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.12.004

Shan, Y, Ou, J, Wang, D, Zeng, Z, Zhang, S, Guan, D & Hubacek, K 2021, 'Impacts of COVID-19 and fiscal stimuli on global emissions and the Paris Agreement', Nature Climate Change, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 200–206. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00977-5

Recent publications


Tian, J, Cheng, Q, Xue, R, Han, Y & Shan, Y 2023, 'A dataset on corporate sustainability disclosure', Scientific Data, vol. 10, no. 1, 182. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-023-02093-3

Ye, Q, Krol, MS, Shan, Y, Schyns, JF, Berger, M & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Allocating capital-associated CO2 emissions along the full lifespan of capital investments helps diffuse emission responsibility', Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 2727 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-38358-z

Lu, H, Xu, Z-D, Cheng, YF, Peng, H, Xi, D, Jiang, X, Ma, X, Dai, J & Shan, Y 2023, 'An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions due to natural gas pipeline incidents in the United States and Canada from 1980s to 2021', Scientific Data, vol. 10, no. 1, 282. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-023-02177-0

Guan, Y, Yan, J, Shan, Y, Zhou, Y, Hang, Y, Li, R, Liu, Y, Liu, B, Nie, Q, Bruckner, B, Feng, K & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Burden of the global energy price crisis on households', Nature Energy, vol. 8, pp. 304-316. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-023-01209-8

Yang, Y, Xue, R, Zhang, X, Cheng, Y & Shan, Y 2023, 'Can the marketization of urban land transfer improve energy efficiency?', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 329, 117126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.117126

Li, Y, Zhong, H, Shan, Y, Hang, Y, Wang, D, Zhou, Y & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Changes in global food consumption increase GHG emissions despite efficiency gains along global supply chains', Nature Food. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00768-z

Bruckner, B, Shan, Y, Prell, C, Zhou, Y, Zhong, H, Feng, K & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Ecologically unequal exchanges driven by EU consumption', Nature Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-022-01055-8

Zhao, C, Liu, B, Wang, J, Xue, R, Shan, Y, Cui, C, Dong, X & Dong, K 2023, 'Emission accounting and drivers in Central Asian countries', Environmental Science and Pollution Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-29608-0

Liu, B, Guan, Y, Shan, Y, Cui, C & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Emission growth and drivers in Mainland Southeast Asian countries', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 329, 117034. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.117034

Zhang, Y, Shan, Y, Zheng, X, Wang, C, Guan, Y, Yan, J, Ruzzenenti, F & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Energy price shocks induced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict jeopardize wellbeing', Energy Policy, vol. 182, 113743. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113743

Cui, C, Li, S, Zhao, W, Liu, B, Shan, Y & Guan, D 2023, 'Energy-related CO2 emission accounts and datasets for 40 emerging economies in 2010-2019', Earth System Science Data, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 1317-1328. https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-15-1317-2023

Lu, H, Xu, Z-D, Song, K, Frank Cheng, Y, Dong, S, Fang, H, Peng, H, Fu, Y, Xi, D, Han, Z, Jiang, X, Dong, Y-R, Gai, P, Shan, Z & Shan, Y 2023, 'Greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. crude oil pipeline accidents: 1968 to 2020', Scientific Data, vol. 10, no. 1, 563. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-023-02478-4

Li, R, Liu, M, Shan, Y, Shi, Y, Zheng, H, Zhang, W, Yang, J, Fang, W, Ma, Z, Wang, J, Bi, J & Hubacek, K 2023, 'Large Virtual Transboundary Hazardous Waste Flows: The Case of China', Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 57, no. 21, pp. 8161-8173. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c07962

Zheng, H, Zhang, Z, Dietzenbacher, E, Zhou, Y, Többen, J, Feng, K, Moran, D, Jiang, M, Shan, Y, Wang, D, Liu, X, Li, L, Zhao, D, Meng, J, Ou, J & Guan, D 2023, 'Leveraging opportunity of low carbon transition by super-emitter cities in China', Science Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scib.2023.08.016


Zhang, N, Duan, H, Shan, Y, Miller, TR, Yang, J & Bai, X 2023, 'Booming solar energy is encroaching on cropland', Nature Geoscience, vol. 16, pp. 932–934. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01304-1

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