The Heterogeneity of Urbanization Patterns and Carbon Emissions
Leiwen Jiang, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Studies on the impacts of urbanization on carbon emissions across countries, even adopting the same research methods, often reach discrete conclusions. This is largely due to the distinct datasets used by individual studies that represent countries across various socioeconomic conditions and under different forms of urban growth. This paper investigates the heterogeneity of urbanization patterns and its associated carbon emissions through energy consumption. We compare the per capita energy consumption and energy intensity of cities to the national averages in different regions, and analyzes the within-region variations and their causes based on a case study of Chinese cities. It reveals that cities in the developing region has higher than national average energy intensity, while the opposite result is found in most developed regions; the large variations across cities within a country are mainly caused by urban sizes and forms, population density, income levels, and other geographic and climate factors.