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Economic Growth, CH4 and N2O Emissions in Sudan: Where Should the Policy Focus Be?

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the effect of economic growth, agricultural growth and energy use on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Sudan. Within the context of the EKC, the study applies the OLS, cointegration, vector error correction modelling (VECM) and Granger causality methods. The study has established a long run equilibrium relationship for both CH4 and N2O in their relation to economic growth, agricultural growth and energy use in presence of trade openness (TOP) and inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI). The estimated VECM shows that emissions of CH4 are significantly affected by economic growth, TOP, and FDI with no effect of agricultural growth in the short run while CH4 is found to be significantly affected by economic growth, agricultural growth, TOP and FDI in the long run. The estimated VECM for N2O shows that N2O emissions are more significantly affected by energy use, agricultural growth and FDI with no effect of economic growth in the short run, while N2O is found to be significantly affected by economic growth, agricultural growth, TOP and FDI in the long run. Consistently, findings from the estimated OLS and VECMs show that the EKC does not hold for either CH4, or N2O emissions, and that N2O emissions are more significantly affected by economic growth, agricultural growth and energy use than emissions of CH4. Findings from impulse response and variance decomposition analysis confirm that emissions of N2O are more responsive to economic growth, agricultural growth and energy use than emissions of CH4. Granger causality analysis shows existence of bidirectional relationship between CH4 and agricultural growth, but a unidirectional relationship from CH4 to FDI. For N2O, the study finds a unidirectional relationship running from agricultural growth to N2O, while N2O emissions are found to cause GDP per capita, the squared GDP per capita, OIL consumption and FDI. In terms of causality, these results suggest that emissions of CH4 and N2O have been generated more by agricultural activities than by overall economic activity, and that activities generating N2O emissions in particular have been contributing significantly to economic growth. Within the context of the country’s intended nationally determined contributions, the findings of this study suggest that policies should be directed cautiously but more effectively to control N2O than CH4 emissions. Economic growth could be pursued without significant environmental harm from both CH4 and N2O emissions. However, Sudan should expand adoption of energy efficiency measures, expansion of renewable energy use, place restrictions on production and use of fuel woods and charcoal for low carbon economy and green growth.

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