Identifying the sources of structural changes in CO2 emissions in Italy

  • Yousaf AliEmail author
  • Maurizio Ciaschini
  • Claudio Socci
  • Rosita Pretaroli
  • Muhammad Sabir
Original Paper


Decomposition analysis represents an important tool in order to highlight the implication of socio-economic, employment and environmental indicators. In addition, it also helps to assess the determinants which are responsible for changes in such indicators. In this paper, changes in CO2 emissions in Italy are examined on the basis of the combination of singular value decomposition (SVD) analysis and structural decomposition analysis (SDA). SVD is used to decompose the total environmental pollution impact coefficient matrix and the pollution multiplier matrix in three different factors: key structures of the policy objective, key structures of the policy control and singular values to find out the potential behaviour of the economy. Furthermore, SDA is carried out to classify the CO2 emission into four main determinants over a period of fourteen years i.e. from 1995 to 2009. These four determinants include: the policy objective effects, the policy control effects, the singular values effects and the final demand structure effects. The results point out that the CO2 emissions decreased during the overall period of 1995–2009, the only exception to this was the period 1995–2000 in which the CO2 emissions increased to 0.29% and technological change was a positive contributor to the increase of carbon emission during this period. Structural decomposition suggests that CO2 increases with an increase in the final demand, implying that a reduction in CO2 emissions is possible only if the increase in demand is based on renewable energies or if economic growth is sustainable.


Climate policy SDA SVD CO2 emissions Environmental input–output model 

List of symbols


\(n{\text{ by }}n\) identity matrix


\(n{\text{ by }}n\) matrix of technical coefficient


Intensity of direct CO2 emission for sector \(i\)

\(\hat{\varphi }\)

Diagonal matrix with \(\varphi\) on the main diagonal


Total CO2 emissions of the economy


Matrix of total environmental pollution impact coefficient


Square of matrix M


An orthonormal basis


Unitary matrix whose columns define two reference structure for output


Unitary matrix whose rows define two reference structure for final demand


Diagonal matrix of scalars, the elements of matrix S are positive scalars called singular values


An unitary orthonormal basis matrix of dimension \(n \times n\)


Display structures of the objective variable (the total CO2 emissions)

\({\mathbf{V}}^{{{\mathbf{T}}^{{{\mathbf{effect}}}} }}\)

Based on the change in the structures of the policy control and its impact on these measures


Examines the change in the singular values and its impact on the corresponding multipliers


Effect of final demand structural changes over a period of 14 years, from 1995 to 2009

JEL Classification

D57 C67 C54 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yousaf Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maurizio Ciaschini
    • 2
  • Claudio Socci
    • 2
  • Rosita Pretaroli
    • 2
  • Muhammad Sabir
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Management SciencesGhulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and TechnologyTopiPakistan
  2. 2.Economics and Law DepartmentUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly
  3. 3.Department of Management SciencesGhulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and TechnologyTopiPakistan

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