Opportunities for Post−COP26 Governance to Facilitate the Deployment of Low−Carbon Energy Infrastructure: An Open Door Policy
Temperatures worldwide continue to climb, while carbon emissions have exceeded previous records. To achieve environmental sustainability, countries with the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement (COP26) demonstrate sophisticated technical expertise and deploy environmentally driven technologies, such as greenfield investment and renewable energy infrastructure. This proposal presents an intriguing opportunity for policymakers to identify the distinct characteristics of institutional reforms and green energy sources that may be used to mitigate carbon emissions. Governance regulatory factors, foreign direct investment (FDI), renewable energy consumption (REC), research and development expenditures, urbanization, and carbon emissions are examined in Pakistan. The study estimated the short- and long-run association between the variables using the ARDL bounds testing method for 1996Q1 to 2020Q4. In the short run, in terms of carbon emissions and economic output, the country has an upturned cord environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). The race-to-the-bottom concept holds for countries with U-shaped EKCs in the long term. The negative correlation between overseas investment and environmental damage supports the environmental halo hypothesis. Investment in research and technology may reduce emissions, even though urbanization increases them. Future and present REC are often intertwined with carbon footprints. Carbon emissions are also strongly connected with indicators of institutional quality (IQ), such as procedural efficiency, administrative effectiveness, and political unrest. The research findings demonstrated unidirectional Granger causality running from urbanization, government effectiveness, economic growth, and R&D expenditures to carbon emissions to validate urban-led emissions, institutional-led emissions, growth-led emissions, and innovation-led emissions in a country. Furthermore, R&D expenditure Granger causality was linked to inbound FDI, while government effectiveness Granger causality was linked to REC and R&D expenditures. Following the COP26 guidelines for achieving shared prosperity, the study concluded that good governance reforms, R&D expenditures, greenfield investment, and REC promote environmental sustainability and maintain air quality.
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