Substantive decomposition research focuses on the energy-related carbon emissions from industrial sectors rather than from the household sector or non-energy-related activities. We extended the application of the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method to a comprehensive analysis of GHG emission intensity [GHG/ unit of gross domestic product (GDP)] related to the industrial and household sectors, and to their energyrelated and non-energy-related activities. Chinese carbon intensity was decomposed and analyzed by the LMDI method for the latest three 5-year plans (9th FYP, 10th FYP and 11th FYP), from 1996 to 2010. Results show that Chinese GHG emission intensity has experienced an unconscious reduction stage, an unconscious increasing stage and a conscious reduction stage, respectively, during the three FYPs. Industrial energy intensity had the dominant effect on GHG emission intensity reduction among all coefficients in the three periods. However, the non-energy-related activities cannot be ignored; they had an average 12% effect on GHG emission intensity reduction during the three periods. The household sector averaged about a 10% reduction effect. Looking forward to the 12th FYP, there are still huge challenges to achieving the energysaving and carbon-reduction goals, due to the opposing effects of national urbanization and eco-civilization construction strategies.