How energy service companies moderate the impact of industrialization and urbanization on carbon emissions in China?

Saina Zheng, Ran Wang, Tiffany M.W. Mak, Shu Chien Hsu, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Energy service companies (ESCOs) have emerged to carry out energy efficiency retrofit projects, playing an essential role in mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in China. However, it remains unclear how exactly ESCOs contribute to CO2 mitigation during urbanization and industrialization. We conducted regression analyses on data collected in 29 provinces in China as the first case study to investigate the moderating effect of ESCOs in relationships between urbanization, industrialization, and CO2 emissions. The results indicate that urbanization had a significantly negative influence on CO2 emissions. In contrast, industrialization displayed a statistically significant positive impact on CO2 emissions. ESCOs have a significant moderating effect on the relationship between industrialization, urbanization, and CO2 emissions. The analysis also revealed that ESCOs have a better performance in areas with lower industrialization and greater urbanization. ESCOs may invest more in regions with limited ESCO activities and huge CO2 emission reduction demand, while energy-saving technology innovation should be advocated in regions with sufficient ESCO activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141610
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2021


  • Carbon sequestration
  • CO emission
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable development
  • Urbanization and industrialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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