Investigation of a spatial coupling relationship between carbon emission performance and regional urbanization in China

Autoři: Huimin Zhou aff001;  Pei Wang aff002;  Chengxin Wang aff001;  Xiangzheng Deng aff002;  Kai Liu aff001
Působiště autorů: Collaborative Innovation Center of Human-Nature and Green Development in Universities of Shandong, College of Geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong, China aff001;  Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff002;  University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff003;  Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222534


In light of the problem of environmental pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion, and its association with rapid urbanization, China is grappling with the question of how to reduce carbon emissions through more efficient energy consumption while simultaneously advancing its economic development. We applied a directional distance function to estimate the carbon emission performance of 30 provinces in China during the period 2000–2016. We selected an index system to assess urbanization processes in these provinces and conducted a spatial analysis to investigate the relationship between urbanization and carbon emission performance. We obtained the following results. First, the carbon emission performance of the eastern region, valued at 0.853, was relatively higher than the corresponding values of 0.810, 0.804, and 0.843 in the central, western, and northeastern regions, respectively. However, during this period, disparities among provinces increased. Second, the average urbanization value for each province showed an upward trend during the study period, and urbanization assumed a “striped” spatial agglomeration pattern. A third finding was that carbon emission performance and urbanization demonstrated a relationship of positive spatial dependence. The average value of their coordinated coupling indicated an upward trend, with an annual increase of 0.85%. Last, we found that efforts to reduce carbon emissions that are solely based on carbon emission performance do not yield reliable results. Accordingly, measurements of urbanization values can enable more detailed differentiation. In conclusion, reasonable measures should be implemented to improve carbon emission performance and urbanization that are in alignment with the actual situation within a given region.

Klíčová slova:

Carbon dioxide – China – Spatial autocorrelation – Urban ecology – Urban economics – Urban environments – Spatial analysis – Economic development


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