Estimating the environment Kuznets Curve hypothesis: evidence from Latin America and the caribbean countries
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This study explores the effect of economic growth (GDP), renewable energy consumption (RE) and financial development (FD) on CO2 emission (CO2) in Latin America and Caribbean countries. To achieve this goal, a panel CO2 model was built over the period 1980-2010. The Kao cointegration test results revealed that the variables are cointegrated. The Fully Modified OLS (FMOLS) results indicated an inverted U-shape relationship between CO2 and GDP, thus confirming the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. Furthermore, FMOLS results also revealed that FD can improve environmental quality by its negative long-run effect on CO2. However, RE has no long-run effect on CO2 indicating that the RE does not contribute to CO2 reduction. The VECM Granger causality results revealed feedback causality between GDP, RE, FD and CO2 in both short- and long-run. Additionally, Granger causality results also revealed that RE, GDP, and FD can be a good solution to reduce environmental damage since they have a causal effect on CO2. This study shows the investigated countries should increase their banking loans on green energy, energy efficiency and energy saving projects to reduce environmental damage. In addition, the above recommendation can increase the contribution of renewable energy in reducing environmental damage .