Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC); Extended STIRPAT; Global sample; Greenhouse gas emissions; Panel data analysis
This study examines the determinants of emissions for a global sample of 120 countries during the 1995-2012 period using panel data analysis. Specifically, an extended version of the STIRPAT model combined with the EKC was employed to examine the determinants of emissions for the full sample and three subsamples of countries at different income levels. Three proxies for emissions are used, including CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions. The two-step generalized method of moments (GMM) is employed as the estimation technique. The empirical results indicate the evidence of EKC for the global sample and all subgroups of countries for CO2 emissions. On the other hand, U-shaped relationships between income and emissions are found for all three subsamples in the cases of N2O and CH4 emissions. Energy intensity appears to be the major driver of CO2 emissions for all groups of countries as well as for N2O and CH4 emissions for high-income and upper-middle-income countries. The effects of industrialization and urbanization vary across different types of emissions and different income country groups. The global environmental policy should focus on encouraging energy efficiency, enhancing the use of eco-friendly energy resources, as well as incorporating the impacts of industrialization and urbanization on emissions.