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Decoupling analysis and environmental Kuznets curve modelling of provincial-level CO2 emissions and economic growth in China: A case study

Jiang, Jing-Jing, Ye, Bin, Zhou, Nan, Zhang, Xiao-Lei
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.212 pp. 1242-1255
carbon dioxide, case studies, environmental Kuznets curve, greenhouse gas emissions, industrialization, models, renewable energy sources, urbanization, China
Guangdong is one of the most representative provinces of China, in terms of reflecting how the provincial-level CO2 emissions dynamically evolve with economic development during the process of industrialisation and urbanisation. The present study combines decoupling analysis with environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) modelling to systematically explore the interactions between CO2 emissions and economic growth in Guangdong from the short to long terms, aiming to provide the referential significance of low-carbon development to other Chinese provinces. Empirical results indicate that CO2-economy interactions in Guangdong dynamically changed with time, performing an effect of expansive weak decoupling during 1995–2014 and having a potential to achieve a strong decoupling in the long run. The decoupling states of various sectors and their contributions to the provincial overall decoupling differed greatly and varied by time, and household and service sectors played increasingly important roles. Overall, the decoupling effect of provincial CO2 emissions is distinctly affected by the stage of industrialisation and urbanisation, renewable energy utilisation, as well as low-carbon technical progress. Therefore, promoting CO2-economy decoupling at the provincial level should be specific to the feature and development reality of various provinces.