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An Inverted-U Impact of Environmental Regulations on Carbon Emissions in China’s Iron and Steel Industry: Mechanisms of Synergy and Innovation Effects


  • Ya Chen

    (School of Economics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230601, China
    Center for Industrial information and Economy, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230601, China)

  • Xiaoli Fan

    (School of Economics, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230601, China)

  • Qian Zhou

    (School of Shanghai Development & Institute of Free Trade Zone, Shanghai University of Finance & Economics, Shanghai 200433, China)


Based on a panel data of China’s iron and steel (IS) industry from 2000 to 2014, this paper explores the impact of environmental regulations on CO 2 emissions in the industry. The results show that there is a clear inverted-U relationship between environmental regulations and CO 2 emissions in the IS industry. Additionally, there are regional heterogeneity and regulatory intensity on the impact of environmental regulations on CO 2 emissions. The results in the eastern region are consistent with the whole sample results, while the upward trend in the central region and the downward trend in the western region together lay the basis for the inverted-U shape of the whole sample. High environmental regulations affect CO 2 emissions in an inverted-U shape, while low environmental regulations present a U shape. The mechanisms of environmental regulations affecting CO 2 emissions are synergy effect and technological innovation effect. Finally, this paper proposes some policy recommendations according to the above findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Ya Chen & Xiaoli Fan & Qian Zhou, 2020. "An Inverted-U Impact of Environmental Regulations on Carbon Emissions in China’s Iron and Steel Industry: Mechanisms of Synergy and Innovation Effects," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-19, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:3:p:1038-:d:315231

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    2. Wang, Zhuo & Yen-Ku, Kuo & Li, Zeyun & An, Nguyen Binh & Abdul-Samad, Zulkiflee, 2022. "The transition of renewable energy and ecological sustainability through environmental policy stringency: Estimations from advance panel estimators," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 70-80.
    3. Neves, Sónia Almeida & Marques, António Cardoso & Patrício, Margarida, 2020. "Determinants of CO2 emissions in European Union countries: Does environmental regulation reduce environmental pollution?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 114-125.
    4. Tu, Haiqiang & Zhou, Zhenhua, 2023. "Resilience and the sustainability: Harnessing efficiency in the natural resources markets for recovery," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(PB).

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