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Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve Evidence from Norway

The environmental Kuznets curve theory suggests that economic growth may reduce environmental problems. In this article, we analyze the changes in environmentally damaging emissions to air in Norway from 1980 to 1996. In order to reveal the factors which decrease the emissions per produced unit, these changes are subdivided into 8 components. Our analysis shows that, holding emissions per produced unit constant, economic growth alone contributed to an increase in all emissions by about 60 percent. In contrast, decreased energy intensity, the substitution of cleaner for polluting energy types and other technological progressions have reduced the growth. Consequently, the growth in all emissions has been significantly lower than economic growth, and negative for some pollutants. The emissions of sulfur dioxide and lead had the largest reductions over the period. The main cause was technological changes, which have generated lead substitutes in gasoline and abatement technologies for sulfur. For most other emissions, the effect of technological changes was not sufficient to weigh up for economic growth. Then the emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides grew over the period, but far less than the growth in GDP. The emission reducing factors may be explained by the general technological progress that follows economic growth. The correlation between economic growth and the emission reducing energy intensity component is for instance significant.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 275.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:275
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  1. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
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  3. de Bruyn, S. M. & van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. & Opschoor, J. B., 1998. "Economic growth and emissions: reconsidering the empirical basis of environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 161-175, May.
  4. Agras, Jean & Chapman, Duane, 1999. "A dynamic approach to the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 267-277, February.
  5. Shafik, Nemat & Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental quality : time series and cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 904, The World Bank.
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  8. Annegrete Bruvoll & Hege Medin, 2000. "Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 275, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  9. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Thomas M. Selden, 1992. "Stoking the Fires? Co2 Emissions and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001. "Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
  11. Sun, J. W., 1999. "The nature of CO2 emission Kuznets curve," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 691-694, November.
  12. Richard B. Howarth & Lee Schipper & Bo Andersson, 1993. "The Structure and Intensity of Energy Use: Trends in Five OECD Nations," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 27-46.
  13. Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd & Sargent, Keith, 1997. "A Tale of Two Collectives: Sulphur versus Nitrogen Oxides Emission Reduction in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 281-301, May.
  14. Longva, Svein & Olsen, Oystein, 1983. " Price Sensitivity of Energy Demand in Norwegian Industries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(1), pages 17-36.
  15. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
  16. P Ekins, 1997. "The Kuznets curve for the environment and economic growth: examining the evidence," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(5), pages 805-830, May.
  17. Sigrid Stagl, 1999. "Delinking Economic Growth from Environmental Degradation? A Literature Survey on the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis," Working Papers geewp06, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
  18. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
  19. De Bruyn, Sander M., 1997. "Explaining the environmental Kuznets curve: structural change and international agreements in reducing sulphur emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 485-503, November.
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