The international community has reached a consensus on preventing the global climate from deterioration by stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Energy industry is a key field for greenhouse gas emission, and investment in the energy industry plays a crucial part in promoting the low-carbon development of China's energy industry. Energy investment can effectively break the high carbon ″lock-in effect″ of energy industry and achieve the low-carbon development of energy industry by guiding, regulating and gathering social funds into the field of cleaner production and the field of low-carbon technology. Based on the unified framework of energy, economy and environment, this article takes 30 provinces in China as the research object, and constructs a spatial econometric model to investigate the impact of energy investment and economic growth on carbon emission reduction. The results indicate that both energy investment and economic growth are responsible for the increase of China's provincial CO 2 emissions, but their driving mechanisms are significantly different. Furthermore, the increase of carbon emissions in adjacent provinces will bring about the increase of local carbon emissions through spatial spillover effects. Based on these findings, the corresponding countermeasures and policy suggestions are put forward. • The influence mechanism of energy investment on carbon emissions is analyzed. • The spatial spillover effects are considered in the analysis. • Regional economic growth will inhibit the increase of carbon emissions in neighboring provinces through indirect effects. • Carbon emissions among adjacent provinces have a mutually reinforcing effect. • Policies aimed at facilitating carbon emission reduction are put forward.

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