Night-time light data based decoupling relationship analysis between economic growth and carbon emission in 289 Chinese cities

Xiaoyun Du, Liyin Shen, Siu Wai Wong, Conghui Meng, Zhenchuan Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Decoupling between urban economic growth (EG) and carbon emissions (CEs) has become a common goal globally for sustainable development. As the largest carbon emitter in the world, China has been attempting to reduce its carbon emissions in order to achieve the emission reduction goal promised to the world. This study examines the performance of decoupling between EG and CE in 289 Chinese cities by using the Tapio decoupling method. The Night Time Light (NTL) data are used for measuring the performance of EG. The NTL data are acquired from the data base Scientific Data. The carbon emission data are collected from the data sets released by CEADs. The main findings of this study are as follows. Firstly, Light Time Light data is an effective source to assess decoupling performance. Secondly, the decoupling performance in China has been improving during the study period. Thirdly, the cities in the Northeast and Eastern regions of China have better decoupling performance than those in Western and Central regions. This study shows a holistic picture of the decoupling status in China and provides supportive references for policy makers to make tailor-made measures for sustainable development in Chinese cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103119
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Carbon emission
  • Chinese cities
  • Decoupling
  • Economic growth
  • Night Time Light
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation

Cite this