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Climate neutrality through economic growth, digitalisation, eco-innovation and renewable energy in European countries

Alina-Petronela Haller (Department of Economic Research, Romanian Academy Branch of Iași - “Gheorghe Zane” Institute for Economic Research, Iasi, Romania)
Mirela Ștefănică (Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania)
Gina Ionela Butnaru (Department of Management, Marketing and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania)
Rodica Cristina Butnaru (Strategy Social and Environmental Responsibility Department, School of Management Sciences, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, Canada)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 3 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the influence of economic growth, digitalisation, eco-innovation, energy consumption and patents on environmental technologies on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) recorded in European countries for a period of nine years (2010–2018).

Design/methodology/approach

Two empirical methods were integrated into the theoretical approach developed based on the analysis of the current scientific framework. Multiple linear regression, an extended version of the OLS model, and a non-causal analysis as a robustness method, Dumitrescu–Hurlin, were used to achieve the proposed research objective.

Findings

Digitalisation described by the number of individual Internet users and patents on environmental technologies determines the amount of GHG in Europe, and economic growth continues to have a significant effect on the amount of emissions, as well as the consumption of renewable energy. European countries are not framed in well-established patterns, but the economic growth, digitalisation, eco-innovation and renewable energy have an impact on the amount of GHG in one way or another. In many European countries, the amount of GHGs is decreasing as a result of economic growth, changes in the energy field and digitalisation. The positive influence of economic growth on climate neutrality depends on its degree of sustainability, while patents have the same conditional effect of their translation into environmentally efficient technologies.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a number of limitations which derive, first of all, from the lack of digitalisation indicators. The missing data restricted the inclusion in the analysis of variables relevant to the description of the European digitalisation process, also obtaining conclusive results on the effects of digitalisation on GHG emissions.

Originality/value

A similar analysis of the relationship among the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth, digitalisation, eco-innovation and renewable energy is less common in the literature. Also, the results can be inspirational in the sphere of macroeconomic policy.

Keywords

Citation

Haller, A.-P., Ștefănică, M., Butnaru, G.I. and Butnaru, R.C. (2023), "Climate neutrality through economic growth, digitalisation, eco-innovation and renewable energy in European countries", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2022-1254

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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