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Energy consumption and CO2 emissions convergence in European Union member countries. A tonneau des Danaides?

Kostantinos Kounetas ()

Energy Economics, 2018, vol. 69, issue C, 111-127

Abstract: As the consumption of energy is responsible for approximately, 80% of GHG in EU (IEA, 2008), the impact of energy activity on the environment has received increasing attention over the last decades from scholars, researchers, politicians and society as a whole. Within EU member countries it is commonly accepted that the design of energy and mitigation policies either at national or at European level require a detailed and integrated investigation of convergence-divergence pattern among the participating countries. In this paper, we examine the distribution dynamics of energy consumption and CO2 emissions, their intensities as well as the carbonization index in 23 European countries over a forty one year period, in particular from 1970 to 2010. For this purpose we used Quah's methodology which is based on the dynamics of cross-section distributions. The main conclusion is that for all the examined variables the hypothesis of convergence patterns for the EU sample is not valid. Moreover, regarding each examined variable different groups of polarization established. Important differences occur across EU countries according to the climate type with respect to the examined variables. Our analysis provides strong evidence supporting the fact that national and European energy and mitigation policies should be implemented according to the non-convergence paradigm. The body of evidence provided by our analysis is of great importance to energy policy makers and for issues related to climate change.

Keywords: European countries; Convergence; Energy consumption; Carbonization index; GHGs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q4 Q5 C2 O47 C69 O5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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