The impact of urbanization on CO 2 emissions in China: an empirical study using 1980–2014 provincial data
Towns and cities are not only the focus of attention for their consumption of energy and resources; they are also scrutinized closely for their emissions of greenhouse gases. China’s urbanization level now exceeds 50%, but there is still much disparity compared with the level of urbanization in developed countries. This study selects China’s urban population and carbon emissions data for the years 1980–2014 and discusses the timing and cause effect of urbanization and the corresponding carbon emissions using the Granger causality test and an error correction model (ECM) then uses STIRPAT models to extract six indicators to measure the quality of urbanization, namely, the level of urbanization, area of built-up regions, added value of tertiary industries, disposable income per capita, green areas per capita, and energy intensity. These six indicators represent population agglomeration, the expansion of urban areas, industrial agglomeration, quality of life improvements, ecological conservation, and technological improvements, respectively. The study divides 29 provinces in China into three groups based on the quality of urbanization and analyzes the impacts of the six indicators of urbanization quality on carbon emissions. The findings show that the impacts of different factors on carbon emissions vary substantially among the provinces. Finally, the study uses the findings to give suggestions on how to develop low-carbon urbanization.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0662-2
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