Controlling air pollution by lowering methane emissions, conserving natural resources, and slowing urbanization in a panel of selected Asian economies

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 19;17(8):e0271387. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271387. eCollection 2022.


The destruction of the earth’s ecosystems is the most pressing issue globally. Carbon emissions account for nearly half of global air pollution. Methane is the primary source of ground-level ozone and a significant source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), with greater warming potential than carbon dioxide emissions. The study examines the impact of the different methane emissions (released by agriculture, energy, and industrial sectors), urbanization, natural resource depletion, and livestock production on carbon emissions in the panel of selected Asian countries for the period of 1971 to 2020. The results show that energy associated methane emissions, livestock production, natural resource depletion, and urbanization are the main detrimental factors of environmental degradation across countries. The causality estimates show the unidirectional relationship running from livestock production and agriculture methane emissions to carbon emissions, from total methane emissions and carbon emissions to urbanization and from urbanization to energy methane emissions and livestock production. The forecasting estimates suggest that total methane emissions, natural resource depletion, and urbanization will likely increase carbon emissions over the next ten years. The study concludes that the energy sector should adopt renewable energy sources in its production process to minimize carbon emissions. Urbanization and excessive resource exploitation must be curtailed to attain carbon neutrality.

PMID:35984821 | PMC:PMC9390938 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0271387


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