Research on the impact of urbanization on carbon emissions has great significance to the development of low-carbon cities. Although various studies have found a causal relationship between urbanization and carbon emissions, the mechanisms by which land urbanization (especially the spatial agglomeration changes of construction land), population urbanization, and economic urbanization affect carbon emissions are still unclear. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the impact of urbanization on carbon emissions in the Pearl River Delta region from 1990 to 2014. The data were analyzed on the basis of a spatial agglomeration function, grey correlation model, Kuznets curve model, etc., according to three aspects of urbanization, namely, land urbanization, population urbanization, and economic urbanization. The associated Kuznets curve relationships between these three aspects of urbanization and carbon emissions were assessed to explore the mechanisms of influence. The main results were as follows. (1) From 1990 to 2014, carbon emissions increased significantly in the Pearl River Delta region from 18.6 × 106 t to 151.31 × 106 t, of which carbon emissions increased much faster from 2000 to 2013. Guangzhou and Shenzhen were the cities with the largest carbon emissions in the Pearl River Delta region. (2) The influence of urbanization on carbon emissions in the Pearl River Delta region showed that economic urbanization had the most obvious impact on carbon emissions followed by land urbanization. Population urbanization had a minimal impact on carbon emissions. The land urbanization and economic urbanization displayed a Kuznets curve relationship with carbon emissions, and the respective models were as follows: y = 145.78x − 839.87x2 − 2.84, y = 0.51x − 0.005x2 + 1.56. (3) The composition structure of carbon emissions showed that priority should be given to emissions from energy consumption and industrial production. Frequent changes of land use were also an important reason for the increase in carbon emissions. The Pearl River Delta region should aim for the construction of low-carbon cities as a goal and attach importance to the harmonious development of the economy and environment in its policies.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Apr 10, 2018
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