Studies on energy and environmental economics

Thumbnail Image
November, 2016
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This thesis addressed three empirical questions in environmental and energy economics in three chapters. The destruction of the environment through carbon emission has gained the attention of policy makers and environmentalists. The African continent is low emitter of CO2, contributing comparatively little to climate change. However, it is widely accepted that the continent is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As a result although the share of Sub-Saharan Africa in global emission of CO2 is historically low, the rising trend in its share of global emissions calls for a concern. In particular, the trend of CO2 emission on the continent has been increasing with the rate of economic growth, trade openness and energy consumption. The first empirical chapter (Chapter Three) thus analyses the effects of income, energy consumption and trade openness on carbon emission in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Empirical estimations from the fully modifies ordinary least squares (FMOLS) and dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) confirmed the existence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for the SSA region with an estimated (income per capita) turning point values ranging from US$ 1,142.85 to US$ 5,687.09. Furthermore, the paper established a nonlinear relationship between trade and emission and concludes that both income and non-income factors account for carbon emission in SSA. However, income and energy consumption have the greatest effect. The results of the chapter imply among other things, the need to promote economic growth and development as a means of reducing carbon emission. Also opening up the sub region for international trade will in the long run help reduce emission. Again it is imperative for countries in the region to embrace more energy conservation policies in order to reduce emissions. The second empirical chapter (Chapter Four) investigates the determinants of the rising fossil fuel consumption for three Sub-Saharan African countries - Ghana, Kenya and South Africa - to help manage the rising consumption fossil fuel consumption. The data for Ghana revealed income, trade and urbanization increases fossil fuel consumption while efficiency of the industrial and service sectors reduce its consumption. The Kenyan results however, showed income, industrial efficiency and vii urbanization contribute positively to fossil fuel consumption but trade, efficiency of the service sector and price reduce fossil fuel consumption. The consumption of fossil fuel in South Africa is found to be influenced by income, urbanization, industrial efficiency, efficiency of the service sector and trade. Among other things, the results of the study suggest efforts should be geared towards strengthening the energy efficiency system in each of these countries to help reduce fossil fuel consumption. In addition, adequate measures should be put in place to decentralize growth and other lucrative activities in the countries under study to reduce the population pressure in the urban centers so as to curb the high level of fossil fuel consumption in such urbanized areas. Also, it is necessary that tariff and non-tariff barriers on products that do not promote energy efficiency are raised and vice versa. The third empirical chapter (Chapter Five) probes into the electricity conservation behaviour for rural and urban households in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Based on a cross-sectional data, it was observed that although both urban and rural households engage in electricity conservation practices, rural households have the stronger behaviour. Through an analysis of conservation behaviour towards the usage of four households’ appliances, it was noted that the effects of demographic features, dwelling characteristics, information, environmental concern, subjective norms and perceived benefits is somehow dependent on the location of households and the appliance in question. The outcome of the study calls for the need to create more awareness by having more campaigns on conservation for the households in the study area. Also, it tells that influential family members and role models in these areas should be involved in the conservation campaign. Also, the results highlight the need to have different conservation measures tailored towards the usage of different appliance in the study area.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Economics.