Analysis of asymmetries in air pollution with water resources, and energy consumption in Iran

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Iran should pay special attention to its excessive consumption of energy and air pollution due to the limited availability of water resources. This study explores the effects of the consumption of energy and water resources on air pollution in Iran from 1971 to 2014. It utilizes the non-linear autoregressive distributed lag approach to establish a robust relationship between the variables which show that both long- and short-run coefficients are asymmetrical. The positive and negative aspects of the long-run coefficients of energy consumption and water resources were found to be 0.19, − 1.63, 0.18, and 2.36, respectively, while only the negative ones were significant for energy consumption. Based on the cumulative effects, it can be established that there are important and significant differences in the responses of air pollution to positive and negative changes in water productivity and energy consumption. In particular, CO2 gas emissions are affected by negative changes in H2O productivity both in terms of the total and the GDP per unit of energy use in Iran. In regard to short-run results, considerable asymmetric effects occur on all the variables for CO2 emissions. Based on the results obtained, some recommendations are presented, which policymakers can adopt in efforts to address the issues of pollution and consumption.

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    US Energy Information Administration

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    Middle East and North Africa

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  10. 10.

    The variable used in this study as an index of energy consumption is \( \frac{\mathrm{GDP}}{\mathrm{unit}\ \mathrm{of}\ \mathrm{Eenergy}\ \mathrm{use}} \), and our results illustrate that it has an inverse relationship with CO2 gas emissions. It can be concluded that if GDPENRG decreases, CO2 gas emissions would increase. It means that increases in the denominator of the fraction, which is the unit of energy use, causes the fraction to become smaller. Based on the literature review, CO2 gas emissions increase too. In the study by Cole and Neumayer (2004), energy intensity is inverse of GDP per unit of energy use (Economics 2013) was used as an index of energy consumption and the result of their study showed that energy intensity and CO2 gas emissions have a direct relationship. Our results are confirmed by these studies. This is the reason for the contradiction in air pollution and consumption of energy in our results compared to previous studies.



Non-linear autoregressive distributed lag


Asymmetric error correction model


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The authors would like to place on record their sincerest thanks to the Editor-in-Chief. We would also like to express our gratitude to the three anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions which tremendously improved the quality of the paper.

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Correspondence to Meysam Rafei.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Ashouri, M.J., Rafei, M. Analysis of asymmetries in air pollution with water resources, and energy consumption in Iran. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 17590–17601 (2018).

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  • Air pollution
  • Energy consumption
  • Water resources
  • NARDL model