Convergence in CO 2 emissions, carbon footprint and ecological footprint: evidence from OECD countries

  • Sakiru Adebola SolarinEmail author
Research Article


The aim of this paper is to augment the existing literature on convergence of CO2 emissions, by adding carbon footprint per capita and ecological footprint per capita to the convergence debate. We use the residual augmented least squares regression to examine the stochastic convergence of the environmental indices in 27 OECD countries. Furthermore, in contrast to the previous studies which mainly used the conventional beta-convergence approach to examine conditional convergence, we use a beta-convergence method that is capable of identifying the actual number of countries that contribute to conditional convergence. The sigma-convergence of the environmental indices is also examined. The results suggest that conditional convergence exists in 12 countries for CO2 emissions per capita, 15 countries for carbon footprint per capita and also 13 countries for ecological footprint per capita. There is evidence for sigma-convergence for all the three indicators. The policy implications of the results are discussed in the body of the paper.


CO2 emissions Ecological footprint Carbon footprint Conditional convergence Sigma-convergence 



  1. Ahmed M, Khan AM, Bibi S, Zakaria M (2017) Convergence of per capita CO2 emissions across the globe: insights via wavelet analysis. Renew Sust Energ Rev 75:86–97Google Scholar
  2. Al-Mulali U, Weng-Wai C, Sheau-Ting L, Mohammed AH (2015) Investigating the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis by utilizing the ecological footprint as an indicator of environmental degradation. Ecol Indic 48:315–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Mulali U, Solarin SA, Sheau-Ting L, Ozturk I (2016) Does moving towards renewable energy causes water and land inefficiency? An empirical investigation. Energy Policy 93:303–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apergis N, Payne JE (2017) Per capita carbon dioxide emissions across US states by sector and fossil fuel source: evidence from club convergence tests. Energy Econ 63:365–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barassi MR, Cole MA, Elliott RJ (2011) The stochastic convergence of CO 2 emissions: a long memory approach. Environ Resour Econ 49(3):367–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baumol WJ (1986) Productivity growth, convergence, and welfare: what the long-run data show. Am Econ Rev:1072–1085Google Scholar
  7. Bello MO, Solarin SA, Yen YY (2018) The impact of electricity consumption on CO 2 emission, carbon footprint, water footprint and ecological footprint: the role of hydropower in an emerging economy. J Environ Manag 219:218–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bilgili F, Ulucak R (2018) Is there deterministic, stochastic, and/or club convergence in ecological footprint indicator among G20 countries? Environ Sci Pollut Res:1–16Google Scholar
  9. Borucke M, Moore D, Cranston G, Gracey K, Iha K, Larson J, Lazarus E, Morales JC, Wackernagel M, Galli A (2013) Accounting for demand and supply of the biosphere's regenerative capacity: the National Footprint Accounts’ underlying methodology and framework. Ecol Indic 24:518–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brännlund R, Lundgren T, Söderholm P (2015) Convergence of carbon dioxide performance across Swedish industrial sectors: an environmental index approach. Energy Econ 51:227–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burnett JW (2016) Club convergence and clustering of US energy-related CO 2 emissions. Resour Energy Econ 46:62–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carlino GA, Mills LO (1993) Are US regional incomes converging?: a time series analysis. J Monet Econ 32(2):335–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Charfeddine L (2017) The impact of energy consumption and economic development on Ecological Footprint and CO2 emissions: evidence from a Markov Switching Equilibrium Correction Model. Energy Econ 65:355–374Google Scholar
  14. Cuñado J, De Gracia FP (2006) Real convergence in Africa in the second-half of the 20th century. J Econ Bus 58(2):153–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson JW, Strazicich MC (2010) Time-series tests of income convergence with two structural breaks: evidence from 29 countries. Appl Econ Lett 17(9):909–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. de Oliveira G, Bourscheidt DM (2017) Multi-sectorial convergence in greenhouse gas emissions. J Environ Manag 196:402–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. El-Montasser G, Inglesi-Lotz R, Gupta R (2015) Convergence of greenhouse gas emissions among G7 countries. Appl Econ 47(60):6543–6552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Friedman M (1992) Do old fallacies ever die? J Econ Lit 30:2129–2132Google Scholar
  19. Galli A, Kitzes J, Niccolucci V, Wackernagel M, Wada Y, Marchettini N (2012) Assessing the global environmental consequences of economic growth through the ecological footprint: a focus on China and India. Ecol Indic 17:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Global Footprint Network (2017) Global foot print network database. Available at
  21. Hamilton JD (2011) Historical oil shocks. Natl Bu Econ Res 16790:1–51Google Scholar
  22. Hossain A. (2000) Convergence of Per Capita Output Levels across Regions of Bangladesh, 1982–97, IMF Working Paper, 2000/121Google Scholar
  23. Huang B, Meng L (2013) Convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in urban China: a spatio-temporal perspective. Appl Geogr 40:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jobert T, Karanfil F, Tykhonenko A (2010) Convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the EU: legend or reality? Energy Econ 32(6):1364–1373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lee CC, Chang CP (2008) New evidence on the convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions from panel seemingly unrelated regressions augmented Dickey–Fuller tests. Energy 33(9):1468–1475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee J, Strazicich MC, Meng M (2012) Two-step LM unit root tests with trend-breaks. J Stat Econ Methods 1(2):81–107Google Scholar
  27. Li X, Lin B (2013) Global convergence in per capita CO2 emissions. Renew Sust Energ Rev 24:357–363Google Scholar
  28. Li XL, Tang DP, Chang T (2014) CO 2 emissions converge in the 50 US states—Sequential panel selection method. Econ Model 40:320–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meng M, Im KS, Lee J, Tieslau MA (2014) More powerful LM unit root tests with non-normal errors. In: Sickles RC, Horrace WC (eds) Festschrift in Honor of Peter Schmidt. Springer, New York, pp 343–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pettersson F, Maddison D, Acar S, Söderholm P (2014) Convergence of carbon dioxide emissions: a review of the literature. Int Rev Environ Resour Econ 7(2):141–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rees WE (1992) Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: what urban economics leaves out. Environ Urban 4(2):121–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Runar B, Amin K, Patrik S (2017) Convergence in carbon dioxide emissions and the role of growth and institutions: a parametric and non-parametric analysis. Environ Econ Policy Stud 19(2):359–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Solarin SA, Al-Mulali U (2018) Influence of foreign direct investment on indicators of environmental degradation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25(25):24845–24859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Solarin SA, Bello MO (2018) Persistence of policy shocks to an environmental degradation index: the case of ecological footprint in 128 developed and developing countries. Ecol Indic 89:35–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stern, D.I., 2014. The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Primer (CCEP Working Paper 1404)Google Scholar
  36. Strazicich MC, List JA (2003) Are CO 2 emission levels converging among industrial countries? Environ Resour Econ 24(3):263–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tomljanovich M, Vogelsang TJ (2002) Are US regions converging? Using new econometric methods to examine old issues. Empir Econ 27(1):49–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. U.S Chamber of Commerce (2012). Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Available at:
  39. Uddin GA, Salahuddin M, Alam K, Gow J (2017) Ecological footprint and real income: panel data evidence from the 27 highest emitting countries. Ecol Indic 77:166–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ulucak R, Apergis N (2018) Does convergence really matter for the environment? An application based on club convergence and on the ecological footprint concept for the EU countries. Environ Sci Pol 80:21–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ulucak R, Lin D (2017) Persistence of policy shocks to Ecological Footprint of the USA. Ecol Indic 80:337–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wang J, Zhang K (2014) Convergence of carbon dioxide emissions in different sectors in China. Energy 65:605–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wang Y, Zhang P, Huang D, Cai C (2014) Convergence behavior of carbon dioxide emissions in China. Econ Model 43:75–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. World Bank (2017). World Development Indicators. Available at:
  45. World Wide Fund for Nature (2014) Living Planet Report 2014 Species and spaces, people and places. Available at
  46. Yavuz NC, Yilanci V (2013) Convergence in per capita carbon dioxide emissions among G7 countries: a TAR panel unit root approach. Environ Resour Econ:1–9Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of BusinessMultimedia UniversityMalaccaMalaysia

Personalised recommendations