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Air Pollution Inequality and Its Sources in SO 2 and NO X Emissions among Chinese Provinces from 2006 to 2015

Mohaddeseh Azimi (), Feng Feng () and Yang Yang ()
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Mohaddeseh Azimi: School of Public Affairs, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Feng Feng: School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Yang Yang: School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 2, 1-25

Abstract: This paper investigates inequality in SO 2 and NO X emissions, by observing their extraordinary levels and uneven distribution in China during the period of the 11th and 12th Five-Year Plans (FYPs, 2006–2015). This provincial and regional analysis utilizing the Theil index and Kaya factors help us to find the trajectory of inequality and its primary sources. Based on our analysis, we conclude the driving factors behind emissions inequalities are as follows. There are four economic factors of per capita SO 2 emission: SO 2 emission intensity of coal consumption, coal intensity of power generation, power intensity of GDP, and per capita GDP. Additionally, there are four urban development factors of per capita NO X emission: NO X emission intensity of gasoline consumption, proportion of gasoline vehicles, vehicle use in urban population, and urbanization rate. The SO 2 emission results represent an increase of 6% in overall inequality where the inequality of power intensity of GDP is the main contributor. In terms of NO X emission, the 3% growth in total inequality is related to the high effect of NO X emission intensity of gasoline consumption. We also examine the effect of other factors affecting the trajectory of inequalities. To apply these results in practice, we compare the 11th and 12th FYPs and give some policy suggestions.

Keywords: air pollution inequality; SO 2 emission; NO X emission; China; Theil index; Kaya factors (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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