An assessment of environmental sustainability corridor: The role of economic expansion and research and development in EU countries
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Given that the European Union-28 countries proposed a target of 3% of the Gross Domestic Product on research and development (R&D) expenditure by 2020, the current study attempts to examine the role of R&D on environmental sustainability. In addition, the study further investigates the long-run and causal interaction between, renewable energy consumption, nonrenewable energy consumption, and economic growth in an ecological footprint-income function. Notably, the study incorporates research and development (R&D) expenditure to the model as an additional variable, and measures impact of each variable on ecological footprint. Empirical evidence is based on a balanced panel data between annual periods of 1997-2014 for selected EU-16 countries. The Pedroni, Johansen Multivariate and Kao tests all reveal a cointegration between ecological footprint, economic growth, research and development expenditure, renewable, and nonrenewable energy consumption. The Fully Modified and Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares models (FMOLS and DOLS) both suggest a negative significant relationship between the countries' research and development expenditure and ecological footprint in the long-run. This implies that spending on R&D significantly impacts on environmental sustainability of the panel countries. Our study affirms that nonrenewable energy consumption and economic growth increase carbon emission flaring while renewable energy consumption declines ecological footprint. The panel causality analysis reveals a feedback mechanism between ecological footprint. R&D expenditure, renewable, and nonrenewable energy consumption. We further observed a one-way causality between ecological footprint and economic growth. The current further validates that the Environmental Kuznet Curve Hypothesis (EKC) holds for this panel of EU countries examined. Effective policy implications could be drawn toward modern and environmentally friendly energy sources, especially in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals via spending on R&D.
SourceSCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
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