JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 2744-2758.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20201114

• Energy Economics and Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Public environmental concerns, environmental regulations and energy-intensive industrial dynamics in China

HUANG Yong-yuan(), ZHU Sheng-jun()   

  1. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2019-12-30 Revised:2020-07-20 Online:2020-11-28 Published:2021-01-28
  • Contact: Sheng-jun ZHU;


Energy-intensive industries refer to a kind of industry with strong energy dependence and high consumption during the production process. Their economic geography and dynamic evolution have an important impact on China's energy geography and energy security. The production process of energy-intensive industries often consumes a lot of resources and is accompanied by a large number of pollutants, and accelerates the deterioration of the local environment. Since the reform and opening up, energy-intensive exported industries have gathered in the eastern coastal areas of China in consideration of transportation location, industrial linkages and the import of raw materials. From the early 2000s, the rising cost of production has resulted in a new round of industrial transfer. Especially, since the 18th National Congress in 2012, the Chinese government has begun to intensify efforts to rectify air pollution, and residents' demand for a better environment has gradually increased. Therefore, the contradiction between the supply and demand for the good environment has gradually become an important factor affecting the dynamics of energy-intensive industries. At the same time, with the development of multimedia and internet technologies, the public is playing an increasingly important role in environmental governance. So how does public environmental concern affect energy-intensive industries dynamics and will the public environmental concern influence the relationship between environmental regulations and the dynamics of energy-intensive industries? Based on the Baidu index and Chinese Customs Trade Statistics from 2011 to 2016, the Logit model is used to comprehensively discuss the impact of environmental pressures on the dynamics of energy-intensive industries in China. This paper divides environmental pressures into public environmental concerns, formal and informal regulations. The empirical results show that public environmental concerns, formal and informal environmental regulations can lower down the probability of local energy-intensive industries entering, while environmental recommendations and proposals (one indicator of informally environmental regulations) have no significant effect. Besides, in areas with high public environmental concerns, formal and informal environmental regulations have a stronger inhibitory effect on the entry of energy-intensive industries.

Key words: energy-intensive industries, industrial dynamics, public environmental concerns, environmental regulation, China