Ecological footprint, CO2 emissions; Energy consumption; Natural resources; Population growth; United States
We examine the impact of the amount of natural resources, energy consumption, and population growth on the ecological footprint and CO2 emissions using data of the United States (USA) from 1971 to 2016. In the course of this study, we developed a comprehensive empirical analysis and applied structural break Zivot-Andrews and Breakpoint ADF unit-roots tests for stationary analysis. The co-integration analysis indicates long-run relationships among the variables. Subsequent findings of the generalized method of moments (GMM), generalized linear model (GLM), and robust least-squares reveal an inverse relationship of natural resources and renewable energy consumption with the ecological footprint and CO2 emissions, while non-renewable energy consumption, population growth, and biocapacity have a positive relationship with the ecological footprint and CO2 emissions. Overall, our findings suggest that natural resources and renewable energy consumption improve environmental quality in the long run, while population growth and non-renewable energy consumption contribute to its deterioration. In addition, the result of pairwise Granger causality reveals that bidirectional causality runs between natural resources and CO2 emissions and between natural resources and the ecological footprint, while unidirectional causality runs from population growth to energy consumption, the ecological footprint, and CO2 emissions. Policymakers in the USA are encouraged to establish policies that control the excessive use of natural resources, promote sustainable lifestyles, develop energy-efficient carbon pricing, and fix the ecological budget to secure a sustainable future for the country.