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Renewable energy, urbanization, and ecological footprint in the Middle East and North Africa region

Abstract

The countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have the greatest potential for renewable energy consumption in the world and is likely to be the most vulnerable to the horrendous effects of climate change. Unfortunately, only a few of the countries have tapped into this potential, as non-renewable energy still dominates the total energy mix of these countries. This study explores the effect of renewable and non-renewable energy consumption on the environment in MENA countries from 1990 to 2016 by applying the Augmented Mean Group algorithm while accounting for urbanization, financial development, and economic growth. The panel result suggests that financial development, economic growth, and urbanization add to environmental degradation. Also, findings reveal that renewable energy does not contribute meaningfully to environmental quality, while non-renewable energy consumption significantly adds to environmental degradation. A uni-directional causality flows from urbanization, economic growth, and energy use to environmental degradation. One way to abate this damage is for countries in this region to embrace and promote the consumption of clean energy sources.

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Correspondence to Solomon Nathaniel.

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List of countries

Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, Oman, Morocco, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, and Israel.

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Nathaniel, S., Anyanwu, O. & Shah, M. Renewable energy, urbanization, and ecological footprint in the Middle East and North Africa region. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08017-7

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Keywords

  • Renewable energy
  • Ecological footprint
  • Urbanization
  • Financial development
  • MENA

JEL codes

  • Q43
  • Q32
  • O13