This study analyzed the relationship between economic growth and emissions of eight environmental air pollutants (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC), and ammonia (NH3)) in 39 countries from 1995 to 2009. We tested an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis for 16 individual industry sectors and for the total industrial sector. The results clarified that at least ten individual industries do not have an EKC relationship in eight air pollutants even though this relationship was observed in the country and total industrial sector level data. We found that the key industries that dictated the EKC relationship in the country and the total industrial sector existed in CO2, N2O, CO, and NMVOC emissions. Finally, the EKC turning point and the relationship between economic development and trends of air pollutant emissions differ among industries according to the pollution substances. These results suggest inducing new environmental policy design such as the sectoral crediting mechanism, which focuses on the industrial characteristics of emissions.
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