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The Role of Renewable Energy Consumption and Trade: Environmental Kuznets Curve Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa Countries

Ben Jebli, Mehdi and Ben Youssef, Slim and Ozturk, Ilhan (2014): The Role of Renewable Energy Consumption and Trade: Environmental Kuznets Curve Analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa Countries.

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Abstract

Based on the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis, this paper uses panel cointegration techniques to investigate the short and the long-run relationship between CO2 emissions, economic growth, renewable energy consumption and trade openness for a panel of 24 Sub-Saharan Africa countries over the period 1980-2010. The validity of the EKC hypothesis has not been supported for these countries. Short-run Granger causality results reveal that there is a bidirectional causality between emissions and economic growth; bidirectional causality between emissions and real exports; unidirectional causality from real imports to emissions; and unidirectional causality runs from trade (exports or imports) to renewable energy consumption. There is an indirect short-run causality running from emissions to renewable energy and an indirect short-run causality from GDP to renewable energy. In the long-run, the error correction term is statistically significant for emissions, renewable energy consumption and trade openness. The long-run estimates suggest that real GDP per capita and real imports per capita both have a negative and statistically significant impact on per capita CO2 emissions. The impact of the square of real GDP per capita and real exports per capita are both positive and statistically significant on per capita CO2 emissions. For the model with imports, renewable energy consumption per capita has a positive impact on per capita emissions. One policy recommendation is that Sub-Saharan countries should expand their trade exchanges particularly with developed countries and try to maximize their benefit from technology transfer generated by such trade relations as this increases their renewable energy consumption.

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