Synthesizing urbanization and carbon emissions in Africa: how viable is environmental sustainability amid the quest for economic growth in a globalized world?

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

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol.29, no.16, pp.24348-24361, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-022-18829-4
  • 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.24348-24361
  • Keywords: Africa, CO2 emissions, Economic growth, Energy use, Globalization, Urbanization
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.Global emission statistics show that Africa is among the least carbon-emitting continents. However, the rising drive for economic growth amid urbanization and globalization in recent years has continued to attract the attention of policymakers to the attendant potential environmental risks. Hence, using robust empirical techniques, this study examines the impacts of increasing urbanization alongside its interactions with energy portfolios on environmental prospects of 15 selected African countries including the most urbanized and leading oil producers in the continent of Africa. The results of the analysis produced insightful implications for achieving both environmental and economic sustainability for the understudied countries. Firstly, the trio of urbanization, economic globalization, and income levels aggravate environmental degradation among these countries as they were found to be essential drivers of carbon emission levels over the understudied period (1990–2015). Secondly, while urbanization significantly poses threat to environmental sustainability, the evidence obtained regarding its interaction with energy portfolios of the understudied countries differs. The significant detrimental environmental impacts of the interaction between urbanization and energy portfolios were only confirmed in the context of fossil energy consumption among the countries, while renewables exist as a significant decarbonization channel within the framework of the increasing level of urbanization among the countries. Thirdly, the study upholds the EKC conjecture. Hence, policymakers and authorities in Africa should capitalize on maximizing the benefits of the huge renewable resource potentials on the continent through adequate investments in green energy technologies for urban infrastructures toward the realization of sustainable development goals (SDGs 11 and 13).