Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 26, pp 27168–27179 | Cite as

Ecological footprint, urbanization, and energy consumption in South Africa: including the excluded

  • Solomon NathanielEmail author
  • Ozoemena Nwodo
  • Abdulrauf Adediran
  • Gagan Sharma
  • Muhammad Shah
  • Ngozi Adeleye
Research Article


The study explores the relationship between ecological footprint, urbanization, and energy consumption by applying the ARDL estimation technique on data spanning 1965–2014 for South Africa. After applying the unit root test that accounts for a break in the data, the Bayer and Hanck (J Time Ser Anal 34:83–95, 2013) combined cointegration test affirms cointegrating relationship among the variables. Findings further reveal that economic growth and financial development exact a deteriorating impact on the environment in the short run. However, the same was not true for both energy use and urbanization. While urbanization and energy use promote environmental quality in the long run, financial development and economic growth degrade it further. The long-run findings of our study are confirmed to be robust as reported by the fully modified OLS (FMOLS), dynamic OLS (DOLS), and the canonical cointegrating regression (CCR) estimates. The direction of causality supports the energy-led growth hypothesis for South Africa. Policy outcomes and directions, and the possibility of promoting sustainable growth without degrading the environment are discussed.


Ecological footprint Energy use Urbanization Economic growth South Africa 

JEL classification

Q43 O13 Q32 



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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of LagosAkokaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Finance and Investment Management, College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.University School of Management StudiesGuru Gobind Singh Indraprastha UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Department of EconomicsUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  6. 6.Department of EconomicsCovenant UniversityOtaNigeria

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