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Economic growth, sectoral structures, and environmental methane footprints

Author

Listed:
  • Octavio Fernández-Amador
  • Joseph F. Francois
  • Doris A. Oberdabernig
  • Patrick Tomberger

Abstract

We analyze the impacts of economic growth on methane emissions per capita at the sectoral level for the period 1997–2014. We cover three stages of the supply chain, distinguishing between emissions embodied in production, final production, and consumption. We investigate the effects of economic growth on two components of methane emissions per capita, namely methane emissions per unit of value added and value added per capita. We uncover substantial heterogeneity across sectors. Economic growth led to expansions of economic activity in all sectors but reduced the methane intensity of sectoral value added in some sectors. In sectors that experienced pronounced reductions in methane intensity, economic growth did not strongly affect emissions per capita. However, in the absence of large methane-intensity gains, economic growth raised emission per capita substantially.

Suggested Citation

  • Octavio Fernández-Amador & Joseph F. Francois & Doris A. Oberdabernig & Patrick Tomberger, 2020. "Economic growth, sectoral structures, and environmental methane footprints," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(13), pages 1460-1475, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:52:y:2020:i:13:p:1460-1475
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2019.1676387
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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