Abstract : The effectiveness of renewable energies in ensuring economic growth and environmental quality is becoming an important topic in the economic literature, due to the fact that the predominantly used fossil energies which are threatened by the risk of depletion lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The present paper aims to analyze the effect of renewable energy consumption on economic growth and carbon dioxide emissions in the WAEMU countries. To this end, we use growth and environment functions with an empirical investigation based on a linear regression in panel data consisting of the WAEMU countries over the period 1990 to 2015. The results of the estimations by the Pooled Mean Group method developed by Pesaran and others (1999) mainly show that in the long run, the use of renewable energy contributes significantly to promoting economic growth and attenuating environmental degradation through the reduction of carbon emissions. Therefore, policy makers should orient the Union ’ s energy policy towards an energy mix dominated by the production and consumption of renewable energy; while at the same time putting in place a policy to control CO2 emissions.
Keywords : renewable energy, economic growth, CO2 emissions, WAEMU.
JEL classification : C23, O55, Q42, Q43, Q51