Is reducing energy intensity enough to put the oil-rich GCC states on a more sustainable environmental path?

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    Abstract

    Although energy wealth rankings place the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries among the richest in the world, these economies face unsustainable growth in energy use and continuous environmental degradation. This paper examines the long-run relationship between per capita CO 2 emissions and energy intensity in the GCC, while controlling for economic activity, the size of the manufacturing sector, and institutional qualities. We use heterogeneous panel techniques that account for heterogeneity and cross-country dependence for the period 1971–2011. We find that energy intensity and emissions are cointegrated in all GCC countries and that conservation and energy efficiency policies have greater potential in reducing emissions in Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE. A regional goal of mitigating emissions by 10% would require a reduction in energy intensity by 12%, on average. Last, we find that judiciary independence is an essential institutional quality that ensures the successful implementation and the stringent enforcement of long-term environmental policies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)965-992
    Number of pages28
    JournalEmpirical Economics
    Volume55
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018

    Keywords

    • CO emissions
    • Energy intensity
    • Environment
    • GCC
    • Oil

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
    • Statistics and Probability
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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