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Inequality of industrial carbon emissions of the urban agglomeration and its peripheral cities: A case in the Pearl River Delta, China

Lei Chen, Linyu Xu and Zhifeng Yang

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2019, vol. 109, issue C, 438-447

Abstract: Different levels and patterns of development in various cities lead to disparities in respect to responsibilities for carbon reduction, particularly within the urban agglomeration and peripheral cities. An assessment of the inequality of industrial carbon emissions between cities can quantitatively explain interregional differences regarding low-carbon activities. This research was conducted to assess inequalities related to total industrial carbon emissions per capita within the urban agglomeration and peripheral cities in the Pearl River Delta during the period 2005–2015. A Kaya-Theil model was utilised to evaluate the effects which represented the primary driving factors that caused the carbon-inequality changes in industrial carbon emissions. The findings revealed that the inequalities in carbon emissions per capita in the urban agglomeration and peripheral cities showed an overall decline, and the within-group inequality component produced patterns that were similar to those of the entire inequality. Further decomposition identified the industrial energy intensity effect as the primary contributor to carbon inequality in both regions during the period. However, the effect varied across the regions. The impact of the inequality associated with industrial energy intensity showed a decline, though the regional inequality of the peripheral cities was greater than that observed in the urban agglomeration, particularly over the first five years, after which the inequality stabilised. Furthermore, the effect of industrial energy intensity is the main reason for the observed increases in inequalities within the urban agglomeration. The findings offer support for regionally differentiated carbon reduction policies for urban sustainability, and lead to policy implications.

Keywords: Carbon inequality; Theil index; Energy intensity; Urban agglomeration; Pearl River Delta (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:109:y:2019:i:c:p:438-447