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Open AccessArticle

Moving Low-Carbon Transportation in Xinjiang: Evidence from STIRPAT and Rigid Regression Models

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State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
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Department of Economics and Management, Yuncheng University, Yuncheng 044000, China
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School of Economics & Management, Northwest University, Xi’an 710127, China
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School of Economic & Management, China University of Petroleum (Huadong), Qingdao 266580, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010024
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 27 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
With the rapid economic development of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the area’s transport sector has witnessed significant growth, which in turn has led to a large increase in carbon dioxide emissions. As such, calculating of the carbon footprint of Xinjiang’s transportation sector and probing the driving factors of carbon dioxide emissions are of great significance to the region’s energy conservation and environmental protection. This paper provides an account of the growth in the carbon emissions of Xinjiang’s transportation sector during the period from 1989 to 2012. We also analyze the transportation sector’s trends and historical evolution. Combined with the STIRPAT (Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology) model and ridge regression, this study further quantitatively analyzes the factors that influence the carbon emissions of Xinjiang’s transportation sector. The results indicate the following: (1) the total carbon emissions and per capita carbon emissions of Xinjiang’s transportation sector both continued to rise rapidly during this period; their average annual growth rates were 10.8% and 9.1%, respectively; (2) the carbon emissions of the transportation sector come mainly from the consumption of diesel and gasoline, which accounted for an average of 36.2% and 2.6% of carbon emissions, respectively; in addition, the overall carbon emission intensity of the transportation sector showed an “S”-pattern trend within the study period; (3) population density plays a dominant role in increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Population is then followed by per capita GDP and, finally, energy intensity. Cargo turnover has a more significant potential impact on and role in emission reduction than do private vehicles. This is because road freight is the primary form of transportation used across Xinjiang, and this form of transportation has low energy efficiency. These findings have important implications for future efforts to reduce the growth of transportation-based carbon dioxide emissions in Xinjiang and for any effort to construct low-carbon and sustainable environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: transportation; carbon emissions; STIRPAT model; ridge regression model; Xinjiang transportation; carbon emissions; STIRPAT model; ridge regression model; Xinjiang
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Dong, J.; Deng, C.; Li, R.; Huang, J. Moving Low-Carbon Transportation in Xinjiang: Evidence from STIRPAT and Rigid Regression Models. Sustainability 2017, 9, 24.

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