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Decomposing the South African CO2 emissions within a BRICS countries context: Signalling potential energy rebound effects

Roula Inglesi-Lotz ()

Energy, 2018, vol. 147, issue C, 648-654

Abstract: This paper employs an LMDI decomposition exercise to investigate the main factors that affect changes in CO2 emissions of South Africa at national level within the BRICS group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) from 1990 to 2014. From the results, it is expected to derive some information on the existence of the energy rebound hypothesis for South Africa with ultimate purpose to direct future research into examining the effect in a micro level. The aim of this paper is not to estimate the precise rebound effect but to decompose the determinants of emission changes in the BRICS countries. The concept of energy rebound would play a role if the improvements in energy intensity might lead to emission increases, instead of the opposite as expected. The overall results suggest that the changes in CO2 intensity and energy intensity had a negative impact to the changes in CO2 emissions: in other words, as the energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of economic output) decreased for all the countries (possible technological developments), the emissions kept rising. For South Africa specifically, the energy intensity was a negative contributor to CO2 emissions only for the part of the examined period (2008–2014).

Keywords: Decomposition; South Africa; BRICS; Emissions; Rebound effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:648-654