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Impact of Economic Growth and Energy Consumption on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Testing Environmental Curves Hypotheses on EU Countries

Mihaela Sterpu (), Georgeta Soava () and Anca Mehedintu ()
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Mihaela Sterpu: University of Craiova, A.I. Cuza 13, Craiova 200585, Romania
Georgeta Soava: University of Craiova, A.I. Cuza 13, Craiova 200585, Romania
Anca Mehedintu: University of Craiova, A.I. Cuza 13, Craiova 200585, Romania

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-14

Abstract: This study analyses the relationship between per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, gross domestic product, gross inland energy consumption, and renewable energy consumption for a panel of 28 countries of European Union in the period 1990–2016. Two theoretical models, a quadratic and a cubic one, are used to estimate the shape of the environmental curve and to test the Kuznets hypothesis. The panel cointegration approach proved the existence of long-run equilibrium relations among the four macroeconomic indicators. Empirical estimations, using panel data techniques, as well as heterogeneous regression for each individual country in the panel, show non-conclusive evidence for the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis. The least square estimates, with the variables in log per capita form, reveal that the inverted U-shaped EKC hypothesis is verified for the panel and for 17 of the 28 EU countries. Estimates of the cubic model show that the environmental curve has an inverted N-shaped form. These results do not hold when the values are in non-logarithmic form. In addition, the estimations for all models show that an increase of gross energy consumption leads to an increase of GHGs, while an increase of renewable energy consumption leads to a reduction in GHG emissions.

Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions; economic growth; energy consumption; renewable energy consumption; environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis; quadratic model; cubic model; data panel; panel cointegration; panel least square estimates (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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