Urbanization and CO2 emissions in resource-exhausted cities: evidence from Xuzhou city, China

  • Shanshan Guo
  • Yanfang Zhang
  • Xiangyan Qian
  • Zhang Ming
  • Rui NieEmail author
Original Paper


In this paper, we discussed the different impacts of urbanization, technical factors and resource utilization on CO2 emissions. Specifically, we investigated the urbanization process of a typical resource-based city, Xuzhou, in China to learn more about how the urbanization development of resource-exhausted cities can affect the urban economy and environment. We examined the urbanization speed and quality and then employed the STIRPAT model to analyze the actual relationship between urbanization and CO2 emissions. The results indicate that there are inverted U-shaped relationships between CO2 emissions and economic growth, the urbanization rate (UR) and urbanization quality (UQ). This proves the existence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve in the case of a resource-exhausted city. In addition, a decoupling development has gradually occurred between urbanization and CO2 emissions, and the UR has a greater influence on CO2 emissions relative to the UQ. Besides, the positive effect of industrial development on CO2 emissions gradually weakened from 2014 and may even be offset by the suppression effect of energy intensity in the future. Finally, the negative effect of the utilization rate of coal capacity indicates that optimizing energy utilization by cutting excess capacity is not only an effective way for urbanization transformation but also for improving the urban environment. These results have important implications for governmental policy decisions pertaining to the sustainable development of resource-exhausted cities.


Urbanization rate Urbanization quality Resource-exhausted city CO2 emissions Resource utilization 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71974191, 71403267 and 71473250); the Key Project of Philosophy and Social Science Research in Universities of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. 2017ZDIXM162); and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2014M551683).


  1. Ali HS, Abdul-Rahim AS, Ribadu MB (2017) Urbanization and carbon dioxide emissions in Singapore: evidence from the ARDL approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:1967–1974CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-mulali U, Binti Che Sab CN, Fereidouni HG (2012) Exploring the bi-directional long run relationship between urbanization, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emission. Energy 46:156–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-mulali U, Fereidouni HG, Lee JYM, Sab CNBC (2013) Exploring the relationship between urbanization, energy consumption, and CO2 emission in MENA countries. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 23:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becchio C, Corgnati SP, Delmastro C, Fabi V, Lombardi P (2016) The role of nearly-zero energy buildings in the transition towards post-carbon cities. Sustain Cities Soc 27:324–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bekhet HA, Othman NS (2017) Impact of urbanization growth on Malaysia CO2 emissions: evidence from the dynamic relationship. J Clean Prod 154:374–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cao S, Lv Y, Zheng H, Wang X (2014) Challenges facing China’s unbalanced urbanization strategy. Land Use Policy 39:412–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dai X, Cheng L (2016) Market distortions and aggregate productivity: evidence from Chinese energy enterprises. Energy Policy 95:304–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dai D, Liu H, Wu J (2018) Urbanization, energy use, and CO2 emissions: a provincial-level analysis of China. Energy Sources Part B 13:205–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fang C, Wang D (2011) The comprehensive estimation and improvement path for the urbanization quality in China. Geogr Res 11:1931–1946Google Scholar
  10. Ghosh S, Kanjilal K (2014) Long-term equilibrium relationship between urbanization, energy consumption and economic activity: empirical evidence from India. Energy 66:324–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. He Z, Xu S, Shen W, Long R, Chen H (2017) Impact of urbanization on energy related CO2 emission at different development levels: regional difference in China based on panel estimation. J Clean Prod 140:1719–1730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. JSGZW (2016) Xuzhou coal mining group is taking multi-measures to divert and reset workers. Accessed 21 June 2018
  13. Juntueng S, Towprayoon S, Chiarakorn S (2014) Energy and carbon dioxide intensity of Thailand’s steel industry and greenhouse gas emission projection toward the year 2050. Resour Conserv Recycl 87:46–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Katircioğlu S, Katircioğlu S (2018) Testing the role of urban development in the conventional environmental Kuznets curve: evidence from Turkey. Appl Econ Lett 25:741–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Klein T, Hoch G (2015) Tree carbon allocation dynamics determined using a carbon mass balance approach. New Phytol 205:147–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee JH, Lim S (2018) The selection of compact city policy instruments and their effects on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector: the case of South Korea. Sustain Cities Soc 37:116–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leipprand A, Flachsland C (2018) Regime destabilization in energy transitions: the German debate on the future of coal. Energy Res Soc Sci 40:190–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu X, Bae J (2018) Urbanization and industrialization impact of CO2 emissions in China. J Clean Prod 172:178–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu L, Wu G, Wang J, Wei Y (2011) China’s carbon emissions from urban and rural households during 1992–2007. J Clean Prod 19:1754–1762CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu Y, Gao C, Lu Y (2017) The impact of urbanization on GHG emissions in China: the role of population density. J Clean Prod 157:299–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Martínez-Zarzoso I, Maruotti A (2011) The impact of urbanization on CO2 emissions: evidence from developing countries. Ecol Econ 70:1344–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mathys NA, Andrea B, Sylvain W, Markus B (2013) The causal relationship between energy use and economic growth in Switzerland. Energy Econ 36:464470Google Scholar
  23. NDRC (2014) National new urbanization planning (2014–2020). Accessed 19 Apr 2018
  24. Pao H, Fu H (2013) Renewable energy, non-renewable energy and economic growth in Brazil. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 25:381–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Parshall L, Gurney K, Hammer SA, Mendoza D, Zhou Y, Geethakumar S (2010) Modeling energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the urban scale: methodological challenges and insights from the United States. Energy Policy 38:4765–4782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ponce De Leon Barido D, Marshall JD (2014) Relationship between urbanization and CO2 emissions depends on income level and policy. Environ Sci Technol 48:3632–3639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Poumanyvong P, Kaneko S (2010) Does urbanization lead to less energy use and lower CO2 emissions? A cross-country analysis. Ecol Econ 70:434–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Qian X, Wang D, Wang J, Chen S (2019) Resource curse, environmental regulation and transformation of coal-mining cities in China. Resour Policy. Google Scholar
  29. Shahbaz M, Lean HH (2012) Does financial development increase energy consumption? The role of industrialization and urbanization in Tunisia. Energy Policy 40:473–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shahbaz M, Loganathan N, Muzaffar AT, Ahmed K, Ali Jabran M (2016) How urbanization affects CO2 emissions in Malaysia? The application of STIRPAT model. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 57:83–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shen L, Shuai C, Jiao L, Tan Y, Song X (2017) Dynamic sustainability performance during urbanization process between BRICS countries. Habitat Int 60:19–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shi X (2011) China’s attempts to minimize non-CO2 emissions from coal: evidence of declining emission intensity. Environ Dev Econ 16:573–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shi X, Rioux B, Galkin P (2018) Unintended consequences of China’s coal capacity cut policy. Energy Policy 113:478–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Su S, Fang X, Zhao J, Hu J (2017) Spatiotemporal characteristics of consumption based CO2 emissions from China’s power sector. Resour Conserv Recycl 121:156–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sun T, Zhang H, Wang Y (2013) The application of information entropy in basin level water waste permits allocation in China. Resour Conserv Recycl 70:50–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tiba S, Omri A (2017) Literature survey on the relationships between energy, environment and economic growth. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 69:1129–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang X, Gu K (2006) The status quo of carbon emission estimation in China. Environ Sci Manag 4:78–80 (In Chinese) Google Scholar
  38. Wang Z, Yang L (2015) Delinking indicators on regional industry development and carbon emissions: Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei economic band case. Ecol Ind 48:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wang Y, Zhao T (2018) Impacts of urbanization-related factors on CO2 emissions: evidence from China’s three regions with varied urbanization levels. Atmos Pollut Res 9:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang S, Fang C, Guan X, Pang B, Ma H (2014) Urbanisation, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions in China: a panel data analysis of China’s provinces. Appl Energy 136:738–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang Y, Zhang X, Kubota J, Zhu X, Lu G (2015) A semi-parametric panel data analysis on the urbanization-carbon emissions nexus for OECD countries. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 48:704–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang Q, Wu S, Zeng Y, Wu B (2016a) Exploring the relationship between urbanization, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions in different provinces of China. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 54:1563–1579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wang Y, Chen L, Kubota J (2016b) The relationship between urbanization, energy use and carbon emissions: evidence from a panel of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. J Clean Prod 112:1368–1374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. World Bank (2016) Middle income. Accessed 23 June 2018
  45. XFA (Xinhua Finance Agency) (2015) Urban work conference shows five opportunities, smart city highlighted. Accessed 16 July 2018
  46. Xiao W, Hu Z, Li J, Zhang H, Hu J (2011) A study of land reclamation and ecological restoration in a resource-exhausted city – a case study of Huaibei in China. Int J Min Reclam Environ 25:332–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Xu B, Lin B (2015) How industrialization and urbanization process impacts on CO2 emissions in China: evidence from nonparametric additive regression models. Energy Econ 48:188–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Xu H, Zhang W (2016) The causal relationship between carbon emissions and land urbanization quality: a panel data analysis for Chinese provinces. J Clean Prod 137:241–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ye H, Ren Q, Hu X, Lin T, Shi L, Zhang G, Li X (2018) Modeling energy-related CO2 emissions from office buildings using general regression neural network. Resour Conserv Recycl 129:168–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yeh T, Chen T, Lai P (2010) A comparative study of energy utilization efficiency between Taiwan and China. Energy Policy 38:2386–2394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yu C, de Jong M, Cheng B (2016) Getting depleted resource-based cities back on their feet again: the example of Yichun in China. J Clean Prod 134:42–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zhang C, Lin Y (2012) Panel estimation for urbanization, energy consumption and CO2 emissions: a regional analysis in China. Energy Policy 49:488–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhang W, Xu H (2017) Effects of land urbanization and land finance on carbon emissions: a panel data analysis for Chinese provinces. Land Use Policy 63:493–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zhang Y, Nie R, Shi R, Zhang M (2018) Measuring the capacity utilization of the coal sector and its decoupling with economic growth in China’s supply-side reform. Resour Conserv Recycl 129:314–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhou N, Fridley D, Khanna NZ, Ke J, McNeil M, Levine M (2013) China’s energy and emissions outlook to 2050: perspectives from bottom-up energy end-use model. Energy Policy 53:51–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhou D, Xu J, Wang L, Lin Z (2015) Assessing urbanization quality using structure and function analyses: a case study of the urban agglomeration around Hangzhou Bay (UAHB), China. Habitat Int 49:165–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zuraimi MS, Pantazaras A, Chaturvedi KA, Yang JJ, Tham KW, Lee SE (2017) Predicting occupancy counts using physical and statistical CO2-based modeling methodologies. Build Environ 123:517–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanshan Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanfang Zhang
    • 3
    • 4
  • Xiangyan Qian
    • 5
  • Zhang Ming
    • 1
  • Rui Nie
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of ManagementChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementXinjiang Institute of EngineeringUrumuqiChina
  3. 3.College of Economics and ManagementNanjing University of Aeronautics and AstronauticsNanjingChina
  4. 4.Australia-China Relations InstituteUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  5. 5.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations