Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are an important factor in the evaluation of green industrial growth, when low GHG emissions along with high industrial growth are expected. In this paper, the improvement of sustainable development of industry in China (2007–2015) was investigated via analysis of the relationships between the GHG emissions and energy consumption in comparison to European countries. A hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was conducted to distinguish industrial growth with GHG emission and energy consumption structures. The results of this research indicated that green industrial growth in Europe had a negative annual rate of GHG emissions. This contributed to the ratio of renewable energy consumption increasing to a maximum of 33% and an average of 16%. In comparison, the GHG emissions in China increased at a rate of 50% to 77% in the main industrial provinces since 2007 with their rapid industrial growth. The rate of GHG emissions decreased after 2012, which was 7% or less than the rate of emissions in the industrial provinces. Contrary to in Europe, the decreasing rate of GHG emissions in China was attributed to the improvement of fossil energy efficiency, as renewable energy consumption was less than 10% in most industrial provinces. Our data analysis identified that the two different energy consumption strategies improved green industrial growth in Europe and China, respectively. Our data analysis identified the two different energy consumption strategies employed by Europe and China, each of which promoted green industrial growth in the corresponding areas. We concluded that China achieved green industrial growth through an increase in energy efficiency through technology updates to decrease GHG emissions, which we call the “China Model.” The “Europe Model” proved to be quite different, having the core characteristic of increasing renewable energy use.


  • The approach to a sustainability is a challenge to the industrial growth of both developed and developing countries

  • With an empirical analysis of hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), the different models of industrial growth in European countries and China were evaluated through the relationship between renewable energy consumption and the efficiency of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

  • The effect of energy-consumption on green industrial growth with GHG emission was investigated in China, compared to that in Europe

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The approach to a sustainability is a challenge to the industrial growth of both developed and developing countries. The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) affirmed that industrial growth without GHG is increasing in most European countries. Tsiantikoudis S. et al [1] stated that the results of the ARDL approach cannot validate the inverted U-shape of the EKC hypothesis, but an inverted N-pattern was confirmed. This was attributed to a change in the energy consumption structure. As the idea of sustainable industrial growth spread, more European countries gradually adopted renewable energy—wind, solar biomass, and tidal energy—in their industrial growth to replace fossil fuels—oil and coal. The Europe committee council released a target of achieving 20% renewable energy consumption by 2020

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