Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth in Cameroon

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Jean Engo corresponding author


Knowledge of decoupling indicators and its determinants is useful for formulating targeted policy recommendations. To this end, the Log-Mean Divisia Index and Tapio models were applied in this paper to study the decoupling relationship among economic growth and GHG emissions in Cameroon over the period 1971-2014. The analyzes were conducted according to the three major periods that marked Cameroon after independence and the decoupling indicators were broken down into seven factors while considering the three main GHGs emitted in this country (i.e. CO2, CH4, and N2O). The results showed that weak decoupling, strong decoupling, and strong negative decoupling occurred in Cameroon during the periods 1971-1984 and 1994-2014 which represent the periods before and after the economic crisis, respectively. In addition to these three decoupling statuses, recessive decoupling only appeared during the economic crisis period (1984-1994). From 1971 to 1984 and between 1994 and 2014, carbon intensity, economic activity, population, and emission factor not only contributed to the increase of Cameroon’s GHG (particularly CO2) emissions but also prevented decoupling. Unlike the period 1984-1994, energy intensity contributed to reducing environmental pollution while promoting decoupling during the periods 1971-1984 and 1994-2014. Although all played an important role in decoupling, we found that after the introduction of natural gas into the country’s energy mix from 2007, the effect of renewable energies on the mitigation of Cameroon’s CO2 emissions remained higher than the substitution of fossil fuels. However, to develop a cleaner economy, Cameroon should maintain modest economic growth and continuously transform economic development pathways, while encouraging the use of renewable energy to further reduce energy intensity per unit of GDP per capita.

Cameroon, economic growth, decoupling, CO₂ emission, energy intensity, greenhouse gas, environmental pollution

Article Details

How to Cite
Engo, J. (2019). Decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth in Cameroon. Resources and Environmental Economics, 1(1), 16-28.


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