The paper using data on 114 countries during 1992–2004 identifies the major perpetrators of escalating global emissions. Using the LMDI decomposition technique, we examine the contribution of the major factors in changing the level of emissions. The effect of GDP on emission is found to be substantially more than that of population. However, the income effect shows high fluctuation over time, while the population effect has been roughly constant. The upper middle-income countries, particularly of Europe and Central Asia, despite high economic growth have reduced their emissions substantially, while in the countries of North America, East Asia Pacific and South Asia increase in income have been significantly accompanied by increase in emission. Apart from few low emitting countries, almost all others have been successful in increasing emission efficiency, but their energy efficiencies have not been remarkable. Although emission efficiency has been more instrumental in curtailing emission, in some cases the path of change in emission follows that of change in energy intensity. Thus, both energy and emission intensity have crucial roles in determining the level of emissions. It may be suggested that emphasis should be given on policies oriented towards sufficient counteractive energy and emission efficiencies before embarking on a path towards economic growth.
Carbon dioxide emission Decomposition Energy efficiency Emission intensity