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Do research and development and environmental knowledge spillovers facilitate meeting sustainable development goals for resource efficiency?

Luigi Aldieri, Teemu Makkonen and Concetto Paolo Vinci

Resources Policy, 2022, vol. 76, issue C

Abstract: We investigate whether research and development (R&D) and environmental knowledge spillovers aid economies in meeting the targets of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12). We do so by utilizing panel data from the European Union, Japan, and USA over the period of 2002–2017 and a production function approach. The results show that whereas R&D, in general, works against meeting the targets set in SDG12, environmental knowledge spillovers facilitate achieving the goal. Additionally, and as expected, the results support the positive effect of control of corruption and resource scarcity but a negative impact of environmental policy stringency for SDG12. The latter result might be due to environmental policies facilitating end-of-the-pipe solutions rather than supporting decreased resource and material use and waste generation. The findings indicate that instead of just supporting all (green and dirty) R&D, policymakers should devise measures that specifically facilitate environmental innovation (not just “any innovation”) and knowledge spillovers stemming from such green technologies, to support sustainable development via innovation.

Keywords: Environmental innovation; Knowledge spillovers; Patents; Research and development; Sustainable development goals; SDG12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2022.102603

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