Eco-Efficiency Trends and Decoupling Analysis of Environmental Pressures in Tianjin, China
This study analyzes Tianjin’s eco-efficiency trends during the period 2001–2013 and reasons for their changes, with the aim of contributing to efforts to ensure the city’s sustainable development. While eco-efficiency of all of the indicators that we analyzed showed improvements during the study period, a gap remained in comparison to the more advanced eco-efficiency observed both domestically and internationally. We subsequently introduced decoupling indices to examine the decoupling relationship between environmental pressure and economic growth. This analysis demonstrated that some progress occurred during the study period resulting from the implementation of existing policies and measures entailing resource conservation and reduction in the emission of pollutants. The latter applied, especially, to sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), which both retained strong decoupling states from 2006 to 2013. Other indicators showed an apparent tendency toward decoupling, but most displayed weak decoupling. These findings indicate that further efforts are urgently required to promote strong decoupling. At the end of the twelfth Five-Year Plan period, Tianjin should consider formulating policies from the perspectives of resource consumption and pollutant emissions reduction to promote further sustainable development.
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