Exploring regional differences in the impact of high energy-intensive industries on CO2 emissions: Evidence from a panel analysis in China

  • Hanchu Liu
  • Jie FanEmail author
  • Kan Zhou
  • Qiang Wang
Research Article


China is currently the largest CO2 emitter in the world. Within China, more than 60% of CO2 emissions originate from high energy-intensive (HEI) industries. Therefore, controlling and reducing CO2 emissions from HEI industries is crucial if China is to achieve its 2030 emission reduction targets. This study aims to investigate regional differences in the impact of HEI industries on CO2 emissions in China. This paper presents an analysis of the impact of HEI industries on CO2 emissions at the national and regional levels using a modified STIRPAT model and provincial panel data from 2000 to 2015 in China. The results show that HEI industries are significant contributors to China’s CO2 emissions owing to the growth in industries, coal-based energy structure, low level of technology, and outstanding conduction effects. The impact intensity of HEI industries on CO2 emissions decreases from the western to the central and eastern regions in China because of a huge regional difference in industrial structure, energy structure, R&D investment, and industrial transfer. Our findings have important implications for policymakers in China by indicating that regional policies concerning HEI industries should be differentiated to successfully reduce CO2 emissions and meet national targets.


High energy-intensive industries CO2 emissions Regional differences Panel estimation China 


Funding information

This research was funded by the Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41630644) and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No.XDA23020101).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanchu Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jie Fan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kan Zhou
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiang Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Science and DevelopmentChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development ModelingChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Geography Science and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.School of Geographical SciencesFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouChina

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