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Growing green? Forecasting CO2 emissions with Environmental Kuznets Curves and Logistic Growth Models

Pérez-Suárez, Rigoberto, López-Menéndez, Ana Jesús
Environmental Science and Policy 2015 v.54 pp. 428-437
United Nations, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions, growth models, sustainable development
Environmental sustainability was established by the United Nations as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG7), including a wide variety of targets referred to the access to safe drinking water, the reduction of biodiversity loss, the improvement of lives of slum dwellers and the integration of principles of sustainable development into the country policies.Despite some progress towards meeting this goal, new challenges have appeared, endangering the development and environmental achievements. Therefore, United Nations and the international community are working on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a new framework placing environmental sustainability at its core.In this context, the analysis of environmental forecasts plays a main role. More specifically, taking into account that the carbon dioxide emissions have increased by almost 50 per cent since year 1990, special attention must be paid to the evolution and projections of emissions for different countries.In this paper we focus on environmental forecasting, based on the extended Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) and the Environmental Logistic Curve (ELC). Considering a sample of 175 countries we perform a competition between both methods, analysing their goodness of fit and their forecasting accuracy. The empirical results provide significant evidence about the adequacy of EKC and ELC for explaining CO2 emissions in different countries, also allowing us to obtain some ex-ante projections.