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Assessing the environmental impacts of renewable energy sources: A case study on air pollution and carbon emissions in China

Chen, Xihui Haviour, Tee, Kienpin, Elnahass, Marwa, Ahmed, Rizwan (2023) Assessing the environmental impacts of renewable energy sources: A case study on air pollution and carbon emissions in China. Journal of Environmental Management, 345 . Article Number 118525. ISSN 0301-4797. (doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118525) (KAR id:101997)

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This study investigates the impact of renewable and non-renewable energy sources on carbon emissions in the context of China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025). The plan emphasises a “Dual-control” strategy of simultaneously setting energy consumption limits and reducing energy intensity for GDP (gross domestic product) in order to meet the targets of the five-year plan. Using a comprehensive dataset of Chinese energy and macroeconomic information spanning from 1990 to 2022, we conduct a Granger causality analysis to explore the relationship between energy sources and the level of air pollution. Our findings reveal a unidirectional link, wherein renewable energy contributes to a reduction in air pollution, while non-renewable energy sources lead to an increase. Despite the government's investment in renewable energy, our results show that China's economy remains heavily reliant on traditional energy sources (e.g., fossil fuels). This research is the first systematic examination of the interplay between energy usage and carbon emissions in the Chinese context. Our findings provide valuable insights for policy and market strategies aimed at promoting carbon neutrality and driving technological advancements in both government and industries.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118525
Uncontrolled keywords: Innovation diffusion; Climate change; Carbon neutrality; Carbon footprint; Renewable energies; Non-renewable energies
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Accounting and Finance
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Rizwan Ahmed
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2023 16:32 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 17:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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