Militarizasyon MENA Ülkelerinde Çevresel Kirliliği Nasıl Etkiliyor?Salih Türedi, Furkan Yıldız
Bu çalışmanın temel amacı; 1995-2018 yılları arasında MENA bölgesinde militarizasyon faaliyetlerinin çevresel kirliliğe neden olup olmadığını analiz etmektir. Bu amaca yönelik çalışmada iki aşamalı sistem-GMM metodu kullanılmıştır. Çalışmada bağımlı değişken olarak çevresel kirliliği temsilen CO2 emisyonu seçilmiştir. Temel bağımsız değişken ise militarizasyon faaliyetlerinin temsilcisi olarak askeri harcamaların GSYH’ye oranı olarak seçilmiştir. Çalışmada kullanılan diğer kontrol bağımsız değişkenler, ekonomik küreselleşme endeksi, doğal kaynak bolluğu, kişi başı GSYH, ticari açıklık ve toplam sermaye oluşumudur. Elde edilen sonuçlara göre CO2 emisyonu ile askeri harcamaların GSYH’ye oranı, doğal kaynak bolluğu, kişi başı GSYH ve ticari açıklık arasında pozitif, anlamlı bir ilişki; CO2 emisyonu ile ekonomik küreselleşme ve toplam sermaye oluşumu arasında negatif, anlamlı bir ilişki bulunmaktadır. Bu sonuçlara göre askeri harcamaların azaltılması, fosil enerji tüketiminin yenilenebilir enerji ile ikamesi, iktisadi büyüme ile çevresel sürdürülebilirliği birlikte gözeten politikalar önem arz etmektedir.
How Militarization Affects Environmental Pollution in MENA CountriesSalih Türedi, Furkan Yıldız
The main purpose of this study is to investigate whether militarization activities have caused environmental pollution in the MENA region between 1995 and 2018. To this end, the two-step system generalized method of moments (GMM) was used. The dependent variable of the study is CO2 emissions, which represents the environmental pollution. The main independent variable of the study was chosen as the ratio of military expenditures to GDP, which represents military activities. Other independent variables used in the study are economic globalization index, natural resource abundance, GDP per capita, trade openness, and total capital formation. According to the study results, a significant positive relationship exists for CO2 emissions with the ratio of military expenditures to GDP, natural resource abundance, GDP per capita, and trade openness; a significant negative relationship exists for CO2 emissions with economic globalization and total capital formation. According to these results, having military expenditures reduced, fossil energy consumption replaced with renewable energy, and policies made that promote economic growth as well as environmental sustainability are crucial for reducing CO2 emissions.
The world has witnessed an increase in environmental pollution in the past few decades. Various levels of environmental destruction have occurred in different parts of the world, the glaciers at the poles are melting due to global warming, and sea levels are rising; as a result of all this destruction, some species on Earth are disappearing, while others are in danger of extinction. In order to overcome this whole situation, global international action plans such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Climate Summit, and the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conferences (COP) have been developed. Economic growth, population growth, increasing energy demands, and other various factors, national defense activities being one of them, lay behind the environmental destruction. Armies are dominant institutions in the modern world, possessing enormous infrastructure opportunities, technological capabilities, weapon systems, military bases, and personnel (Clark et al., 2010).
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region covers a geography where conflict and political, economic, social, and other instabilities reign. The region generally consists of countries governed by authoritarian regimes where rentier states prevail. The Arab Spring that took place in 2011 and spread to the Arabian Peninsula started in Tunisia. Having distanced itself from the West after the revolution, Iran has since been regarded as a threat by the Western world, facing embargoes and high security concerns. Established in 1948, Israel has constantly followed an expansionist policy in the region and occupied Palestinian lands in the process. This situation requires Israel to be constantly vigilant in terms of its military presence. Again, Egypt also got its share from the Arab Spring; the Morsi administration that came to power by democratic election faced a military coup from Sisi. Various examples of instability have also occurred in Saudi Arabia, the relatively stable country of the region, as well as the other remaining countries; as a result, military structures are constantly being fortified.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a relationship exists between military activities (militarization) and environmental pollution in the MENA region. The study uses data from the 1995-2018 period. The following sections will first discuss the relevant literature then mention the method and data set used. The study will end with the conclusion, discussing the findings and suggesting policies.
The factors behind environmental destruction include economic growth (Kahuthu, 2006; Saidi & Hammami, 2017; Shahbaz et al., 2017; Stern et al., 1996), rapid population growth (Pimentel et al., 2007; Sarbapriya et al., 2011; Shaw, 1989), increase in energy demand (Alam et al., 2007; Saboori & Sulaiman, 2013; Sehrawat et al.,2015), and economic globalization (Shahbaz et al., 2017; You & Lv, 2018; Koengkan et al., 2020; Yıldız, 2021). Another factor involves the military activities countries in the region carry out. The common opinion in the literature is that militarization activities increase CO2 emissions (i.e., environmental pollution, see Bildirici, 2017a, 2017b; Solarin et al., 2018; Ben Afia & Harbi, 2018; Zandi et al., 2019; Edmond & Boker, 2019; Gokmenoglu et al., 2020). Although few in number, studies are found in the literature showing military expenditures to increase environmental quality (see Ozcan & Apergis, 2018; Ullah et al., 2021).
Methodology and Data Set
This study aims to empirically examine the effect of militarization on environmental pollution in 12 MENA countries over the period of 1995-2018 using dynamic panel data analysis. The two-step system GMM was used to analyze the relationships among the variables. The prediction model created for this purpose is as follows:
This function can be converted to dynamic panel data form and written as follows:
In the equation (N = the 12 MENA countries), t=1,2,3....(T = 1995-2018 = 23). stands for unit effects and stands for error term with white noise. Because the lagged variable of the dependent variable is included in the set of explanatory variables in the equation, the model thus transforms into a dynamic format. Also, in the model represent the coefficients of the explanatory variables.
In the model, lnCO2 is the dependent variable of countries’ carbon dioxide emissions per capita in metric tons (1,000 kilograms) and represents environmental pollution. lnmilex is the main explanatory variable of the model (i.e., militarization). The other explanatory variables are economic globalization index (lneglob) natural resource abundance (lnnatural), per capita GDP (lnpgdp), trade openness (lntrade) and total capital formation (lngfc). Descriptive information and data sources regarding the variables are given in Table 1. The expression ln in front of the variables indicates the analysis to use the natural logarithmic value for all variables.
Pearson correlation and scatter diagram analysis (see Figure 3) are use prior to the econometric analysis to obtain preliminary findings regarding the direction of the relationships (i.e., positive or negative) between variables. The Pearson correlation findings show lnCO2 to have significant positive correlations with lnmilex (0.548), lneglob (0.385), lnnatural (0.288), lnpgdp (0.917), and lntrade (0.392), and a significant negative correlation with lngfc (-0.219). Meanwhile, when taking into account the distribution of the observations of the variables and the slopes of the regression lines, the scatter diagram analysis is also seen to support the Pearson correlation analysis findings.
Dynamic panel data estimation results are given in Table 2. Firstly, the Wald test shows the predicted model to be statistically significant at the 1% level. The validity of the generated instrument variables was tested next using the Hansen test. The significance value of the Hansen test statistics is seen to be greater than 0.05, as expected. Finally, the autocorrelation test was used to find the model has one first-order autocorrelation (pAR(1) < 0.05) and no second-order autocorrelation (pAR(2) > 0.05). Therefore, the diagnostic tests reveal consistent results. Analysis results show lneglob and lngfc to have significant negative effects on lnCO2 and lnmilex, lnnatural, lntrade and lnpgdp to have statistically significant positive effects on lnCO2.
The coefficients obtained at the end of the analysis indicate a 1% increase in military expenditures in the MENA region to increases CO2 emissions by 0.011%, a 1% increase in economic globalization to reduce CO2 emissions by 0.073%, a 1% increase in natural resource abundance to increase CO2 emissions by 0.0025%, a 1% increase in per capita GDP to increases CO2 emissions by 0.032%, a 1% increase in trade openness to increase CO2 emissions by 0.027%, and a 1% increase in total capital formation to reduce CO2 emissions by 0.014%.
This study has analyzed the effect of militarization on environmental pollution in the MENA region. The study used the two-step system GMM and chose the amount of CO2 emissions to represent environmental pollution and the ratio of military expenditures to total GDP to represent militarization. Other controlled variables thought to have an impact on CO2 emissions are economic globalization, abundance of natural resources, trade openness, per capita GDP, and total capital formation. The results produce empirical evidence for the existence of a positive relationship for CO2 emissions with military expenditures, abundance of natural resources, trade openness, and per capita GDP and of a negative relationship for CO2 emissions with economic globalization and total capital formation.