Ural Federal University: Technology and Environmental Policy Will Help Reduce Air Pollution

Researchers at Ural Federal University analyzed the impact of economic growth, technology and environmental policy on carbon dioxide emissions in Russian regions. For this purpose, they studied data from the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) of 76 Russian regions for 1999-2015. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

“We analyzed how carbon dioxide emissions are affected by the scale and structure of production, technologies used, and environmental policies. The study used the dynamic threshold regression method because it is robust for analysis in the case of non-linear asymmetry and unobserved heterogeneity between objects,” says Kazi Sohag, Associate Professor at the Ural Federal University Department of Economics.

The economists reached several conclusions as a result of their analysis. First, they found that modern technology leads to lower carbon dioxide emissions associated with electricity consumption. Second, stricter environmental policies can help reduce emissions. Finally, as economic growth increases, the negative impact of economic activity on the environment decreases.

“Our results showed that gross regional product (GRP) per capita affects carbon dioxide emissions according to the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. In other words, there is a threshold value of GRP per capita, after which emissions begin to decrease. The results show that modern technologies in processing and extractive industries can lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions. This is why companies must be interested in introducing only those modern technologies that are aimed at reducing emissions,” explains Oleg Mariev, Head of the Ural Federal University Department of Economics.

At the same time, in the manufacturing and extractive industries, as well as in commerce, modern technologies lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions associated with the consumption of electricity. This can be explained by increased energy efficiency, scientists believe.

The interaction of electricity consumption and the use of modern technologies in the production process contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for all levels of GRP per capita, say the researchers. Therefore, it is necessary to develop technologies aimed at energy conservation.

“One of the main sources of carbon dioxide emissions in Russian regions is the extraction and use of fossil fuels. Due to the fact that today there are still enough natural resources for the needs of the country’s economy and for export, clean energy sources are developing slowly. Therefore, initiatives are needed to develop clean production technologies, in particular with the help of market tools and the use of productive capacity of the economy. A favorable business climate is important for enterprises to be able to develop sustainably and engage in innovations that contribute to environmental protection,” adds Kazi Sohag.

The research was supported by Russian Science Foundation (Project 19-18-00262, “Modeling of balanced technological and socio-economic development of Russian regions”).

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