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Climbing the electricity ladder generates carbon Kuznets curve downturns

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  • Paul J Burke

Abstract

This paper examines why some countries have experienced environmental Kuznets curve (EKC)-type reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while others have not. The hypothesis that climbing to the upper rungs of the electricity ladder (nuclear power and modern renewables) has been the primary mechanism via which countries have achieved substantial reductions in per capita CO2emissions is tested using a binomial dependent variable modelling approach for a sample of 105 countries. The findings suggest that electricity mix transitions caused by long-run growth in per capita incomes are indeed the primary determinant of carbon Kuznets curve downturns. The paper explores additional mechanisms via which carbon Kuznets curves may have been generated, but the results indicate that these are of lesser overall importance than the electricity mix effect. The evidence also suggests that countries with larger fossil fuel endowments are less likely to experience carbon Kuznets curve downturns, an additional curse of natural resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul J Burke, 2011. "Climbing the electricity ladder generates carbon Kuznets curve downturns," CAMA Working Papers 2011-31, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2011-31
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-02/31_burke_2011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burke, Paul J., 2010. "Income, resources, and electricity mix," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 616-626, May.
    2. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    3. Neumayer, Eric, 2002. "Can natural factors explain any cross-country differences in carbon dioxide emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 7-12, January.
    4. Antonio Musolesi & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2010. "A panel data heterogeneous Bayesian estimation of environmental Kuznets curves for CO2 emissions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(18), pages 2275-2287.
    5. Iwata, Hiroki & Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2010. "Empirical study on the environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 in France: The role of nuclear energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4057-4063, August.
    6. Catherine Norman, 2009. "Rule of Law and the Resource Curse: Abundance Versus Intensity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 183-207, June.
    7. Unruh, G. C. & Moomaw, W. R., 1998. "An alternative analysis of apparent EKC-type transitions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 221-229, May.
    8. Auci, Sabrina & Becchetti, Leonardo, 2006. "The instability of the adjusted and unadjusted environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 282-298, November.
    9. Amy K. Richmond & Robert K. Kaufmann, 2006. "Energy Prices and Turning Points: The Relationship between Income and Energy Use/Carbon Emissions," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 157-180.
    10. Marzio Galeotti & Matteo Manera & Alessandro Lanza, 2009. "On the Robustness of Robustness Checks of the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(4), pages 551-574, April.
    11. Verbeke, Tom & De Clercq, Marc, 2006. "The income-environment relationship: Evidence from a binary response model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 419-428, October.
    12. Richmond, Amy K. & Kaufmann, Robert K., 2006. "Is there a turning point in the relationship between income and energy use and/or carbon emissions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 176-189, February.
    13. Tsurumi, Tetsuya & Managi, Shunsuke, 2010. "Does energy substitution affect carbon dioxide emissions - Income relationship?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 540-551, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stern, David I. & Gerlagh, Reyer & Burke, Paul J., 2017. "Modeling the emissions–income relationship using long-run growth rates," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(06), pages 699-724, December.
    2. Sanchez, Luis F. & Stern, David I., 2016. "Drivers of industrial and non-industrial greenhouse gas emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 17-24.
    3. Nancy McCarthy & Heath Henderson, 2014. "The Role of Renewable Energy Laws in Expanding Energy from Non-Traditional Renewables," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 86813, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Paul J. Burke & Md Shahiduzzaman & David I. Stern, 2015. "Carbon dioxide emissions in the short run: The rate and sources of economic growth matter," CAMA Working Papers 2015-12, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    5. Nancy McCarthy & Heath Henderson, 2014. "The Role of Renewable Energy Laws in Expanding Energy from Non-Traditional Renewables," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6677, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Shuhei Nishitateno & Paul J. Burke, 2014. "The motorcycle Kuznets curve," Departmental Working Papers 2014-04, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.

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