Is smart transportation associated with reduced carbon emissions? The case of China

Congyu Zhao, Kun Wang, Xiucheng Dong, Kangyin Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


The greenhouse effects of the transportation sector are quite significant as the sector essentially consumes a lot of fossil fuels. To reduce this sector's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and achieve carbon neutrality, developing smart transportation has emerged as a promising approach. Accordingly, by employing spatial econometric models, we study the impact of smart transportation on CO2 emissions in China. For this purpose, we first assess smart transportation levels in the 30 Chinese provinces for the period 2002–2017. The results indicate that the overall level of smart transportation displays a significant upward trend, and regional heterogeneity exists. Also, a significant spatial spillover effect is found between smart transportation and CO2 emissions in China, implying that a province's carbon mitigation not only depends on the development of its own smart transportation, but also on that of neighboring provinces. Smart transportation can inhibit the CO2 emissions significantly in not only the transportation but also non-transportation sectors. Furthermore, in addition to the direct mitigation effect, smart transportation can also indirectly affect CO2 emissions through transportation scale, structure, and technology effects. The findings of this paper therefore add to the existing literature and provide important policy implications for promoting smart transportation and curbing CO2 emissions in the transportation and other sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105715
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • CO emissions
  • Mediating and heterogeneous effects
  • Smart transportation
  • Spatial econometric models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy


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