Improving the Environment for a Greener Future
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Chapter 17: Conclusion
Economic growth has been a central issue in modern economics. However, until recent decades, less attention has been given to the relationship between economic growth and the environment. Rapid economic growth tends to be harmful to the environment due to a greater use of natural resources and higher emission levels. Therefore, potential conflict arises between economic policies and environmental quality. Researchers are interested in technology and people’s preferences as key to analyzing long-run economic growth. Recently, the environment’s ability to reduce emissions has been added to the analysis of economic growth and the environment (Akao and Managi, 2006, 2007). Akao and Managi (2007) show that sustainable growth is impossible without technological progress or nature’s assimilation ability. The theoretical arguments in this book show that an inverted U-shaped relationship of the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) might be possible. This study finds significant results supporting EKC for many instances of local pollution. On the other hand, the results show a deteriorating environment and depletion of natural resources while at the same time there are increasing income levels for global environmental indicators and solid waste. We suggest that the nations in the world have not yet reached income levels sufficient to generate the turning points for some of the local and global pollution and depletion of natural resources. Further interpretations regarding the decomposed effects of EKC are analyzed in detail. In the case of CO2, my result implies that, unless we reduce our coal share, there will be a pollution–income relationship. If...
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