The Impact of Digital Trade on Regional Carbon Emissions: Evidence from China
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University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China
Qingdao University College of Electronics and Information, Shandong, China
Submission date: 2023-10-19
Final revision date: 2023-11-30
Acceptance date: 2023-12-09
Online publication date: 2024-04-12
Publication date: 2024-04-18
Corresponding author
Feng He   

University of Science and Technology Beijing, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(4):3869-3885
With the rise of China’s economy and the expansion of China’s foreign trade scale, the carbon emissions generated by China’s trade are attracting extensive attention from political and academic circles. In the context of global ‘decarbonization’, this paper focuses on the new trade model of digital trade and uses China's provincial panel data from 2013 to 2021 to deeply explore the effect of digital trade development on carbon emissions and its transmission mechanism. We find that digital trade development can reduce regional carbon emissions through structural and technological effects; specifically, industrial structure upgrading, consumption upgrading, and green technology innovation play a crucial intermediary role in this process. Subsequent investigation reveals a nonlinear, diminishing trend in the marginal impact of digital trade on emission reduction. Furthermore, once digital trade surpasses the threshold of environmental regulation its marginal effect on emission reduction becomes more pronounced. Additionally, employing a spatial econometric model has revealed that the advancement of digital trade can also contribute to reducing carbon emissions in neighboring regions. Heterogeneity analysis results demonstrate that the eastern region exhibits the most significant emission reduction effect in relation to digital trade, followed by the western and central regions.
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