Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Sep 26:1-18. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-22983-0. Online ahead of print.
As climate warming is intensifying, CO2 emission reduction has aroused the great attention of many governments and scholars. Compared with traditional industrial times, the influencing system of CO2 emission in modern society has taken great changes due to technological advancement, improvement in energy efficiency, and the popularity of the internet. But the current literature has not reached a consensus on this theme. Our study tends to investigate the nexus between international trade, international trade taxes, energy intensity, internet usage, renewable energy, and CO2 emission while incorporating income levels by using the data from Belt and Road countries in the 2008-2020 period. For this purpose, we applied the unit root test, CSD, Granger causality test, AMG, CCMG, and CS-ARDL methods. The results show that energy efficiency, GDP, and internet use have significantly negative effects on CO2 emission, while GDP has significant positive impacts on CO2 emission. By classifying 65 countries along Belt and Road into four groups of low-income level, low-middle income level, upper-middle income level, and a high-income level, the regional heterogeneities of influencing factors of CO2 emission is confirmed. Furthermore, this empirical study provides new insights to policymakers to reduce CO2 emissions through technology innovation, international cooperation, and human capital investment without deteriorating economic growth.