Renewables as a pathway to environmental sustainability targets in the era of trade liberalization: empirical evidence from Turkey and the Caspian countries

Onifade S. T., Erdoğan S., Alagöz M., Bekun F. V.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol.28, no.31, pp.41663-41674, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 31
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-021-13684-1
  • Journal Name: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.41663-41674
  • Keywords: CO2 emission reduction, EKC, Environmental sustainability, Renewable energy, Trade, Turkey and Caspian countries
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.The quest for improved environmental quality through low-carbon emission has been explored in this study in the wake of the growing call for a transition to renewable energy use amidst widening trade relations between Turkey and the countries in the Caspian region including Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. This study draws strength from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) and their impact by 2030. These SDGs encompass pertinent targets on responsible energy consumption (SDG-12), access to clean and affordable energy (SDG-7), and climate change action (SDG-13). Empirical evidence from the dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) technique corroborated by the fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS) technique shows that a percent rise in renewable energy consumption level significantly abates carbon emission among these countries by about 0.26% while growing globalization vis-à-vis a percent increase in openness to trade significantly hampers environmental quality via inducement of carbon emission level by 0.32%. Extended findings from the Granger causality analysis corroborate the significance of the long-run coefficients with regard to the double-edged benefits of renewable energy consumption in enhancing both environmental quality and income levels through lower carbon emission and sustainable economic growth stimulations among the countries. The study confirmed the inverted U-shape relation between income growth and environmental deterioration, thus validating the EKC hypothesis for Turkey and the Caspian countries. This suggests that both blocs are still at the scale stage of their growth trajectory, where the emphasis is focused on increasing income level relative to environmental sustainability. As such, important policy measures were provided in the concluding section of this study.