Aggregate Production and Gases Emissions in Rich Countries: Are the G7 Contributing to Environmental Air Damage?


Due to the importance of the G7 (Group of Seven) countries, and taking into account the current need for nations adhering to environmental standards, a relevant issue to investigate is if increasing levels of Gross Domestic Production (GDP) are related to increasing levels of environmental damage. This paper aims to analyze this production growth-environmental damage relation, focusing on the G7 countries’ economic and environmental performances in the last four decades (1970-2012/13). Theories on growth-cum-environment, the sustainable development concept and the environmental Kuznets’ curve hypothesis are presented to support the analysis and guide the empirical study. Cross-country graphical analysis and statistical correlation were the methods used to evidence the relationship between paths of GDP and the trajectories of gases emissions. The source of the dataset is the World Development Indicators from the World Bank (2016). In general, results showed that increasing GDP levels in the G7 countries were negatively related to environmental damage, the latter measured by emissions of four types of gases: CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and total greenhouse gases. Exceptions were USA and Japan. USA and Japan’s GDP growth were paired with increasing levels of CO2 and total greenhouses emissions. Three Europeans (Germany, UK and France) seem to be fulfilling the environmental Kuznets’ curve hypothesis under the evidence of decreasing gases emissions over four decades of intense economic growth.

Author Information
Marcos Sena, Universidade de Fortaleza - UNIFOR, Brazil
Fatima Matos, Universidade Potiguar and Instituto Superior Miguel Torga, Portugal
Rafael Mesquita, Instituto Federal do Piaui - IFPI­ and Universidade Potiguar, Brazil
Diego Machado, Universidade Federal do Ceara, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ECSEE2017
Stream: Economic Sustainability: Environmental Challenges and Economic Growth

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon