Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Environmental Science and Engineering


Eric D. Smith


Sustainable development promotes economic growth alongside environmental quality preservation and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions .The Environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) shows that, as countries transition from low income to higher income levels of economic development it leads to a deterioration of the environment, but after a certain level of economic growth, environmental quality is preserved alongside economic growth to a good extent and makes the developmental model sustainable. In this research we perform Linear Regression to test the effect of sustainability determinant variables on Total greenhouse gas emissions and perform a comparative study of the test results on the world’s leading economies but different income and population level countries India, China and USA during the high economic growth and high sustainability awareness years from 1985 to 2014.We further delve deep into the (Per Capita GDP ,Population) pair root cause of energy requirements and the energy root cause of greenhouse gas emissions ,particularly the energy use and its effect on carbon emissions. Our research findings show energy usage is the root cause of greenhouse gas emissions and that for middle income level countries like India and China increase in GDP-per Capita results in higher cumulative energy use and energy use per capita and greenhouse gas emissions per capita but at different rates. For USA where per capita income and wealth levels are beyond the EKC threshold, increase in the GDP per capita results in lower energy use per capita and greenhouse gas emissions per capita due to high energy efficiency though USA is more sensitive to addition of population with high energy use per capita. This research analysis and conclusions insights would help countries plan their energy production and consumption requirements in advance as they transition in income and population levels and would help device effective energy and population policies.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

159 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Krishnan Iyer