Empirical study of the Environmental Kuznets curve and Environmental Sustainability curve hypothesis for Australia, China, Ghana and USA

Samuel Asumadu Sarkodie, Vladimir Strezov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines Environmental Kuznets and Environmental Sustainability curve hypotheses for Australia, China, Ghana and the USA from 1971 to 2013 in order to examine the factors contributing to adverse greenhouse gas emission and economic impacts relative to their development. The study revealed that the decline of carbon dioxide emissions in developed countries can be attributed to a paradigm shift and structural change from high-energy intensive and carbon-intensive industries to services and information-intensive industries. The increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions in developing and least developing countries can be attributed to the economy driven by agriculture, transport and services. Environmental policies and regulations in developing and least developing countries are weaker compared to developed countries, as such, they become a haven for high-energy and carbon-intensive industries. The high awareness of environmental sustainability, technological advancement, stringent environmental regulations and policies in developed countries result in a decline in energy intensity and a decline in carbon dioxide emissions. The Environmental Sustainability Curve hypothesis shows that the affecting factors include economic growth, energy consumption patterns and carbon dioxide emissions. The study reveals electric power consumption as the main contributor of energy intensity in the selected countries. Decoupling economic growth from electric power consumption and improving energy efficiency in China, Ghana, Australia, and the USA will enhance energy security and decline the economic related dynamics and activities on the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2018



  • EKC hypothesis
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Energy intensity
  • Panel data

Cite this