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Using an up-to-date panel dataset that covers 88 countries over a 38-year period (1991–2018), this paper revisits the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) to measure environmental degradation (CO2, methane, nitrous Oxide, PM 2.5, HFC, PFC and SF6) in relation to GDP per capita. This study confirms the inverted-U relation for CO2 emissions, with the estimated turning point at $13,233, but also identifies a U relation in the case of PM 2.5. Furthermore, in a regional analysis of both CO2 and PM 2.5, with special reference to the MENA region, it finds gaps between actual CO2 emissions and their fitted values. We observe that Libya, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Algeria show average ratios higher than 1, meaning the actual values are higher than the fitted ones and therefore these countries face more serious pollution problems. Based on this finding, we recommend the implementation of policies in this region that aim to reach energy efficiency as well as the development of eco-friendly and sustainable technologies.
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