Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Aug 26. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-22685-7. Online ahead of print.
The Pearl River Basin (PRB) is a significant area for economic development (ED) and ecological protection in China. Studying the relationship between carbon emission (CE) and ED is crucial for China and the world to cope with climate change and achieve CO2 reduction. For 48 cities in the PRB, we used the coupling coordination model and geographically weighted regression model to analyze the coupling coordination degree (CCD) between CE and ED and investigate the main influencing factors. The results suggested that (1) the CCD presents spatial heterogeneity, with the Pearl River Delta having the highest value and the middle reaches having the lowest value; (2) the coupling coordination type between CE and ED changes from incoordination to coordination in general; and (3) the resident income and population size have a positive influence on the CCD of the cities in the lower reaches, while the secondary industry scale has a beneficial impact on the upstream. Finally, we put forward corresponding policy suggestions to achieve sustainable development in terms of reducing economic inequities, enhancing public expenditure and innovation capability, and streamlining the industrial structure.