Exporting the Greenhouse: Foreign Capital Penetration and CO? Emissions 1980–1996

  • Peter Grimes Baltimore Green Party
  • Jeffrey Kentor University of Utah


This research examines the impact of foreign investment dependence on carbon dioxide emissions between 1980 and 1996. In a cross-national panel regression analysis of 66 less developed countries, we find that foreign capital penetration in 1980 has a significant positive effect on the growth of C0 2 emissions between 1980 and 1996. Domestic investment, however, has no systematic effect. We suggest several reasons for these findings. Foreign investment is more concentrated in those industries that require more energy. Second, transnational corporations may relocate highly polluting industries to countries with fewer environmental controls. Third, the movement of inputs and outputs resulting from the global dispersion of production over the past 30 years is likely to be more energy-expensive in countries with poorer infrastructure. Finally, power generation in the countries receiving foreign investment is considerably less efficient than within the countries of the core.
How to Cite
Grimes, P., & Kentor, J. (2003). Exporting the Greenhouse: Foreign Capital Penetration and CO? Emissions 1980–1996. Journal of World-Systems Research, 9(2), 261-275. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2003.244
Globalization & the Environment