Impact of environmental regulations on energy efficiency: a case study of China's Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan

Yue Liu*, Pierre Failler*, Zhiying Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Scientific environmental policies promote energy efficiency improvement by influencing the industrial structure and investment in R&D and innovation. In view of the insufficient impact of the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (Action Plan for short) on energy efficiency, this paper takes 30 provinces and municipalities of the Chinese Mainland during 2004–2017 as samples and investigates the impact of China’s Action Plan on energy efficiency as well as the impact path by means of the DID method. This paper finds a significant statistical relationship between the two. The following conclusions are drawn. Firstly, the Action Plan significantly promotes the improvement of provincial energy efficiency. Secondly, the Action Plan has heterogeneous impacts on the energy efficiency in different provinces. This heterogeneity is mainly reflected in the differences in resource endowments and the different intensities of environmental governance in different provinces. Thirdly, the upgrading and rationalization of the industrial structure and the investment in R&D and innovation have significantly different moderating effects on the Action Plan’s impact on energy efficiency. The industrial structure rationalization and the investment in R&D and innovation will enhance the promotion effect of the Action Plan on energy efficiency, while the “quantity” of the industrial structure upgrading will weaken this promotion effect, and the moderating effect of the “quality” of the industrial structure upgrading is not significant.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3168
Number of pages20
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan
  • energy efficiency
  • DID method
  • industrial structure upgrading
  • industrial structure rationalization
  • R&D and innovation investment

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