Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2013, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (1): 56-62.doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2013.01.008

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The Relationship between Patterns of Economic Development and Increasing Carbon Emissions in Western China

JIAO Bing, YANG Fengming   

  1. Research Center of Resources Environment and Regional Economics, Xi’an University of Finance and Economics, Xi’an 710100, China
  • Received:2012-10-17 Revised:2013-01-24 Online:2013-03-30 Published:2013-03-26
  • Supported by:

    Humanity and Social Science Youth foundation of Ministry of Education of China (12YJC790082); National Social Science Fund Key Project (11AJL007).

Abstract: With the implementation of the “Development of Western China” strategy, this region has become the fastest growing economic area in China. However, rapid economic growth has resulted in a substantial increase in carbon emissions and affected energy reduction goals. In order to effectively control the rapid increase in carbon emissions across western China, we need a comprehensively analyze the main factors causing these increases. Here, we analyze the relationship between economic development patterns and carbon emissions. The findings suggest that consumption upgrades and industrial transformation have a positive correlation with carbon emissions in this region. We then conducted an econometric FGLS analysis on the relationship and its transmission mechanism between economic growth and CO2 emissions with cross-province panel data from 1991 to 2009. A positive correlation was found, and the relationship is more significant after the implementation of the western development strategy. The influence coefficient of change in primary, secondary and tertiary industries is 16.4. The influence coefficient of increased share of heavy industry and extractive industry in the secondary industry is 14.3, and the influence coefficients of per-capita living expenditure and per capita traffic expenditure are 5.6 and 6.5. Traditional population size and income scale have a weak impact on carbon emissions, and the influence coefficients of population size and income scale are only 0.73 and 0.86. GDP increases have a second major impact on the carbon emissions. Energy intensity has a negative relationship with carbon emissions and urbanization level has a positive relationship (coefficients are -8.2 and 4.65).

Key words: economic growth pattern, carbon emission, consumption upgrade, industrial transformation