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Domestic material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the EU‐28 countries: Implications for environmental sustainability targets

Andrew Alola, Seyi Akadiri () and Ojonugwa Usman ()

Sustainable Development, 2021, vol. 29, issue 2, 388-397

Abstract: In spite of the achievements of the European Union (EU) member countries with respect to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 targets, the member countries have reportedly under‐performed in a specific drive towards the SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production [SCP]). In advancing evidence to this insight, the current study examines the role of domestic material consumption, income and renewable energy utilisation in the panel of the EU‐28 environmental sustainability targets. In specific, we find that domestic material consumption worsens the bloc's environmental quality in both the immediate and long term. Although an increase in per capita income level aids environmental sustainability in the long term, the short‐run effect shows that per capita income growth triggers greenhouse gas emissions. The study further reveals that while cleaner energy development (renewables) improves the countries' environmental sustainability in both the short and long run, the level of real income is yet detrimental to environmental quality. Moreover, consumption of domestic materials, the share of renewable energy utilisation and real income contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in countries like Czech Republic, Lithuania and Malta. Thus, this study suggests country‐specific policies that primarily target domestic consumption and cleaner energy development to achieve environmental sustainability targets among the EU member states.

Date: 2021
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