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This study investigates the nexus between economic growth and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Specifically, this study employs a dynamic panel threshold model to identify and compare the threshold levels of economic growth between developing countries participating and not participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The findings signify a nonlinear relationship between the sampled countries’ economic growth and their CO2 emissions in both categories. Furthermore, the result of dynamic panel threshold model reveals that the threshold level of economic growth, in the category of BRI developing countries, was lower (US$ 887.49) as compared to non-BRI developing countries (US$ 1358.57). This implies that the impact of economic growth in developing countries participating in the BRI was less harmful to the environment, and that these countries are more alert to environmental issues once the threshold of their gross domestic product per capita was achieved. Hence, Chinese authorities should put in more effort in facilitating sustainable infrastructure development to attract more developing countries to join the BRI to mitigate environmental degradation.
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