The effects of environmental regulation and technical progress on CO2 Kuznets curve: An evidence from China
Based on environmental Kuznets curve theory, a panel data model which takes environmental regulation and technical progress as its moderating factors was developed to analyse the institutional and technical factors that affect the path of low-carbon economic development. The results indicated that there was a CO2 emission Kuznets curve seen in China. Environmental regulation had a significant moderating effect on the curve, and the inflection of CO2 emissions could come substantially earlier under stricter environmental regulation. Meanwhile, the impact of technical progress on the low-carbon economic development path had a longer hysteresis effect but restrained CO2 emission during its increasing stage and accelerated its downward trend during the decreasing stage which was conducive to emission reduction. Strict environmental regulation could force the high-carbon emitting industries to transfer from the eastern regions to the central or the western regions of China, which would make the CO2 Kuznets curve higher in its increasing stage and lower in its decreasing stage than that under looser regulation. Furthermore, energy efficiency, energy structure, and industrial structure exerted a significant direct impact on CO2 emissions; we should consider the above factors as essential in the quest for low-carbon economic development.
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