Different from previous studies which examine the relationship between either separate parameters or drivers of economic development and ecological sustainability, this study employs the productive capacity index to provide a holistic understanding into the ecological impacts of improving the productive sources of a nation. It also considers the increasingly importance role of green financial policy in lessening the ecological degradation under an uncertain economic and political environment. We adopt advanced panel quantile regression to three samples of 34 high-, 17 upper middle-, and 17 lower middle-income countries from 2000 to 2018. The empirical results show the existence of N-shaped, inverted N-shaped, and U-shaped relationship between productive capacity and ecological footprint in high-, upper middle-, and lower middle-income country groups, respectively. Meanwhile, green financial policy is found to generate beneficial effect on the quality of the ecology in all panels. Uncertainty reduces ecological degradation in high- and upper middle-income countries but intensifies ecological ruin in lower middle-income countries. This complicated relationship between variables of interest warns policymakers to adopt suitable economic and political policies that can deal with both severe ecological degradation and raising uncertainty. Finding the presence of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) at different levels of development and the presence of the turnaround points within the sample ranges also validates the EKC hypothesis to be a policy benchmarking tool for developing effective environmental policies at the global level. This study outcomes have been utilized to develop Sustainable Development Goals oriented policy framework.