Innovation and globalization fosters a tendency towards multiparty collaboration and strategic contacts among nations. A similar path was followed by the Chinese administration in 2013, with its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). The most important objective of the present fact-finding study was to demonstrate the links between economic growth, energy consumption, urbanization, gross fixed capital formation, trade openness, financial development and carbon emissions (ecological degradation) from a panel of 47 BRI economies, over a time span of 1980 to 2016. Dynamic panel estimations (dynamic ordinary least square (DOLS) and fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS)) were engaged to examine the long-run links between the subjected variables. Synchronized outcomes for the full panel show that energy consumption, gross fixed capital formation, economic growth, financial development, and urbanization unfavorably led to environmental degradation (CO2
emissions). However, trade openness is negatively correlated with emissions. Furthermore, pairwise panel Granger causative estimations justified bi-directional links from all regressors towards CO2
emissions, except for trade openness, which had unidirectional ties with environmental quality. In cross-country, long-run assessments, different results were found, with CO2
emissions being greatly increased by economic growth in all countries and energy consumption in 30 countries; other predictors testified to some mixed interactions with CO2
emissions in the country-level examination. The reported investigation provides some noteworthy guiding principles and policy inferences aimed at governments and ecological supervisory administrations, suggesting assertive moves towards truncated used of carbon fossil fuels and dependency on renewable energy, establishing waste and water treatment plants, familiarizing themselves with the concept of a green economy, and making the general public aware of eco-friendly investments in BRI economies.
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