Trends of rural residential energy consumption and CO2
emission should be evaluated in a broader context of urbanization, especially in developing countries where urbanization is in its expanding stage. In this study, we use the STIRPAT model and various panel regression techniques to explore the impact of urbanization on rural residential energy consumption and CO2
emission by using data from Southwest China. The results show that a higher urbanization level contributes to higher total residential energy intensity. Increases in net income per capita can decrease the intensities of traditional biomass energy and non-biomass energy, while industrialization has a negative effect only on non-biomass energy intensity. Land use change driven by urbanization can also lower the intensities of total residential energy, traditional biomass energy and non-biomass energy. Moreover, the impact of total residential energy intensity on emissions is positive. Particularly, traditional biomass energy accounts for most of CO2
emissions derived from the use of residential energy. As urbanization is expected to increase in the developing world and lead to more CO2
emissions from rural areas, policies which intend to reduce the intensity of traditional biomass energy, promote biogas and industrialization, and raise net income of rural residents can be used as effective mitigation strategies.
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