PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (12): 1999-2010.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.12.002

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial characteristics and influencing factors of carbon emissions in county-level cities of China based on urbanization

WANG Rui1(), ZHANG He1, QIANG Wenli2, LI Fan2, PENG Jingyi1   

  1. 1. School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
    2. College of Earth and Environmental Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2021-01-18 Revised:2021-05-16 Online:2021-12-28 Published:2021-12-24
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Project(2018YFC0704701);National Natural Science Foundation of China(52078328)


This study selected 1897 county-level cities in China as the research unit to examine the spatial distribution pattern of carbon emissions and the effects of population, economy, and multi-dimensional urbanization levels on carbon emissions. The data sources are CHRED-online carbon emission public database and social and economic statistics of counties and county-level cities. Spatial autocorrelation and geographic detector methods were used in the empirical research. The results show that: 1) County-level cities of China are relatively highly different in carbon emissions, and the number of areas with high carbon emissions is relatively small, but the emission value is relatively large. The carbon emissions per unit of GDP are higher than the national average. 2) The spatial distribution of total carbon emissions mainly presents a pattern of high in the east and low in the west. The high-value areas of total carbon emissions are mainly concentrated in the east, the periphery of large cities in central China, and the central and northern regions of Inner Mongolia, showing a clustered distribution structure. Per capita carbon emissions and carbon intensity show a pattern of high in the north and low in the south, mainly concentrated in the central and northern parts of Inner Mongolia and the border areas of Xinjiang and Qinghai. 3) The spatial heterogeneity of the level of economic and land urbanization has a strong explanatory power for the difference in the total carbon emissions of county-level cities, and the impact of population urbanization on the total carbon emissions is not obvious. The interaction between economic urbanization and land urbanization has the most dramatic impact on carbon emissions, and shows a nonlinear enhancement effect. 4) With regard to regional differences, the level of urbanization has the most dramatic effect on the underdeveloped areas in the west. The eastern, central, and western regions also show different spatial characteristics in terms of the explanatory power of the same indicators and the key influencing factors.

Key words: urbanization, carbon emissions, county-level cities, spatial pattern, influencing factors