Environmental degradation has become a severe concern across South Asia. Hence, it is imperative to model the macroeconomic determinants of environmental quality across this region. The traditional fossil fuel dependency of the major South Asian nations is alleged to have persistently deteriorated the quality of the environment across this region. Under such circumstances, it can be hypothesized that intra-regional trade within South Asia can facilitate renewable electricity trade to enhance environmental well-being. Accordingly, this study aims to evaluate the impacts of intra-regional trade integration, renewable energy transition, economic growth, and foreign direct investment inflows on the ecological footprints of selected South Asian economies. The econometric methods used in this study are suited for handling cross-sectionally dependent heterogeneous panel datasets. The overall results reveal that promoting intra-regional trade, stimulating renewable energy transition, expediting economic growth, and impeding inflows of dirty foreign direct investments are imperative for reducing the ecological footprint figures of the South Asian nations of concern. Besides, the results also verify the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis for the South Asian panel as well as for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan but not for India and Pakistan. Moreover, the pollution haven hypothesis is also verified for both the panel and the individual South Asian countries. In line with these findings, several environmental welfare improvement-related policies are recommended.
|Journal||Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Feb 2022|
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