The purpose of this study is to critically assess the relationship between international trade and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to identify the key driving forces in Africa at different income levels. In examining the causal effects of net trade on CO2 emission loads from 1960 to 2012 with a number of other anthropogenic driving forces, we employed a panel dataset, an augmented STIRPATN models and techniques of Generalised Least Squares to determine the quantitative magnitude impacts of net trade on CO2 emissions. The results suggest that CO2 emissions have statistical significant impact on net trade, population size, manufacturing sector and services sector. The final consumption expenditure (annual growth) cannot be used to explain CO2 emission loads in Africa, as it is not statistically significant at all in different income levels. The estimated results indicate that, the average effect of net trade over CO2 emissions, when the net trade changes across time and between countries increases by 1%, CO2 emissions increases by about 1.02 and 2.24% for low income countries and middle income countries, respectively, when all the other predictors are constant.
Key words: International trade, population size, carbon dioxide emissions, net trade.
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