Presently, China is the largest CO2 emitting country in the world, which accounts for 28% of the CO2 emissions globally. China’s CO2 emission reduction has a direct impact on global trends. Therefore, accurate forecasting of CO2 emissions is crucial to China’s emission reduction policy formulating and global action on climate change. In order to forecast the CO2 emissions in China accurately, considering population, the CO2 emission forecasting model using GM(1,1) (Grey Model) and least squares support vector machine (LSSVM) optimized by the modified shuffled frog leaping algorithm (MSFLA) (MSFLA-LSSVM) is put forward in this paper. First of all, considering population, per capita GDP, urbanization rate, industrial structure, energy consumption structure, energy intensity, total coal consumption, carbon emission intensity, total imports and exports and other influencing factors of CO2 emissions, the main driving factors are screened according to the sorting of grey correlation degrees to realize feature dimension reduction. Then, the GM(1,1) model is used to forecast the main influencing factors of CO2 emissions. Finally, taking the forecasting value of the CO2 emissions influencing factors as the model input, the MSFLA-LSSVM model is adopted to forecast the CO2 emissions in China from 2018 to 2025.