Sustainable Development Goals Synergies/Trade-offs: Exploring Long- and Short-Run Impacts of Economic Growth, Income Inequality, Energy Consumption and Unemployment on Carbon Dioxide Emissions in South Africa


  •  Bertrand Tessa Ngankam    

Abstract

This study examines the short- and long-run impacts of economic growth and unemployment (SDG 8), energy consumption (SDG 7) and income inequality (SDG 10) on CO2 emissions in South Africa over the period 1980-2012 to establish potential synergy/trade-off to achieve these goals. We use the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach to cointegration technique. Our results show that the promotion of economic growth (SDG 8) as well as the reduction in energy consumption/increase in energy efficiency (SDG 7) can be achieved in synergy with the reduction of CO2 emissions (SDG 13). On the other hand, our results suggest a trade-off between reducing unemployment rate or achieving productive employment and decent work (SGD 8) and mitigating CO2 emissions (SDG 13). Neither a synergy nor trade-off (neutral relationship) is found between the reduction of income inequality (SDG 10) and the reduction of CO2 emissions (SDG 13). Our findings highlight the importance of mainstreaming SDG’s policy interactions to achieve sustainable development goals, while also stressing the potential for South Africa to achieve low-carbon development should economic growth be decoupled from carbon-intensive energy use through policies that promote access and effective use of clean energy. The transition to clean energy is therefore emphasized and relevant factors underpinning such as transition should be explored further.

Highlights

  • This study examines the short- and long-run impacts of economic growth and unemployment (SDG 8), energy consumption (SDG 7) and income inequality (SDG 10) on CO2 emissions in South Africa
  • The autoregressive distributed lag approach to cointegration is employed
  • A synergy is established between the promotion of economic growth (SDG 8) and the reduction of CO2 emissions (SDG 13), and between the reduction in energy consumption/increase in energy efficiency (SDG 7) and the reduction of CO2 emissions (SDG 13)
  • A trade-off is confirmed between reducing unemployment rate or achieving productive employment and decent work (SDG 8) and mitigating CO2 emissions (SDG 13)
  • A neutral relationship is found between the reduction of income inequality (SDG 10) and the reduction of CO2 emissions (SDG 13)
  • Policymakers need to mainstream SDG’s policy interactions to achieve sustainable development goals

South Africa can achieve low-carbon development should economic growth be decoupled from carbon-intensive energy use through policies that promote access and effective use of clean energy



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1913-9063
  • Issn(Onlne): 1913-9071
  • Started: 2008
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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