Impact of coal rents, transportation, electricity consumption, and economic globalization on ecological footprint in the USA

Over the last three decades, the world has been facing the phenomenon of the ecological deficit as the ecological footprint is continuously rising due to the persistent decline of the per-capita bio-capacity. Moreover, there is a substantial increase in globalization and electricity consumption for the same period, and transportation is contributing to economic prosperity at the cost of environmental sustainability. Understanding the determinants of ecological footprint is thus critical for suggesting appropriate policies for environmental sustainability. As a result, this study analyzes the impacts of economic globalization, transportation, coal rents, and electricity consumption in ecological footprint in the context of the USA over the period 1995 to 2018. The data have been extracted from “Global Footprint Network,” “Swiss Economic Institute,” and “World Development Indicators.” The current study has also applied the flexible Fourier form nonlinear unit root test to examine the stationarity among variables. For the empirical estimation, a novel technique, the “quantile auto-regressive distributive lag model,” is applied in the study to deal with the nonlinear associations of the variables and to evaluate the long-term stability of variables across quantiles. The study’s findings indicate that coal rents, transportation, and globalization significantly and positively contribute to the deterioration of ecological footprints at different quantile ranges in the short and long run. Electricity consumption is found to have a positive and significant impact at lower quantile ranges in the long run but not have a significant impact in the short run. The study suggested that lowering the dependence of the transport sector on fossil fuels, more use of hydroelectricity, and stringent strategies to curb coal consumption would be helpful to reduce the positive influence of these variables on ecological footprints in the USA.

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» Publication Date: 02/05/2022

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 768737


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