UC Berkeley & National Bureau of Economic Research
Jinan University & Tsinghua University
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University
Urban energy use significantly contributes to climate change. According to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), urban areas account for between 67% and 76% of global energy consumption and generate about three quarters of global carbon emissions (Creutzig et al., 2013). This share is even larger in China where 85% of carbon emissions are attributed to urban economic activities, and this share will likely increase as China's urban population is projected to grow by 240 million over the next 35 years (Liu, 2015).
Industrialization and urbanization have gone hand in hand during China's rapid economic development. In the past three decades China has been the ‘The World's Factory’ (e.g. 40% of the world's clothes are ‘Made in China’1), largely driven by the fast growth of export-oriented, labor- and energy-intensive industries in cities. In urban areas the industrial sector emits much more carbon dioxide than the residential sector. In 2011, China's industrial sector consumed about 71% of the country's total energy, ...