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Sustainability evolution and factors based on ecological footprint: A case study of Rizhao, China

Wei Sun, Junli Li and Wenxi Qu

Growth and Change, 2022, vol. 53, issue 1, 132-150

Abstract: Ecological footprint (EF) focuses on exploring regional sustainable development, thereby making the evaluation of sustainability an important part of academic research. However, few efforts have been made into investigating EF’s influencing factors. This study explores the changes of EF and its influencing factors in Rizhao, a coastal city in China, and verifies the changes of EF through EKC. The results are as follows: (a) The rapid growth of EF is an important cause of ecological deficit. The evolution of EF shows obvious stage characteristics. (b) In terms of composition, the EF of fossil fuel‐rich land contributes greatly to the growth of EF; the EFs of cultivated land and water area also always account for a large proportion. (c) The EF is driven by the proportion of the secondary and tertiary industries, which has an inhibitory effect. Moreover, different influencing factors determine the stage change of EF. (d) EF is used to indicate the degradation of the environment. EKC shows that Rizhao City is in a negative correlation between economic development and environmental quality, confirming the change of EF. Based on the empirical results, suggestions have, hence, been made in this study to achieve sustainable development targets.

Date: 2022
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