Explanatory Factors of Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the European Union
The European Union (EU) is committed to decarbonising its economy by 2050. To that end, significant reductions in greenhouse gases from the energy and agricultural sectors are of critical importance. However, while the EU member states each pursue a different climate strategy, all member states’ emissions are regulated by EU climate law. This paper investigates the factors explaining carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the 27 member countries, using fully modified least squares (FMOLS) and quantile regression models. Before estimations, panel unit root and cointegration tests have been used for the period 1990-2018. The applied model examines the impact of economic growth, energy intensity, renewable energy consumption and agricultural trade on carbon dioxide emissions. Estimates have shown that the intensification of energy stimulates carbon emissions. Economic growth indicates an increase in carbon emissions. The results reveal that agricultural trade decreases carbon dioxide emissions in the EU, highlighting that intra EU trade is more environmentally friendly. Finally, the impact of renewable energy is limited to contributing to climate mitigation goals by reducing emissions.