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Environmental sustainability assessment using dynamic Autoregressive-Distributed Lag simulations—Nexus between greenhouse gas emissions, biomass energy, food and economic growth

Sarkodie, Samuel Asumadu, Strezov, Vladimir, Weldekidan, Haftom, Asamoah, Ernest Frimpong, Owusu, Phebe Asantewaa, Doyi, Israel Nutifafa Yawo
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.668 pp. 318-332
bioenergy, biomass, climate change, decision making, ecological footprint, energy efficiency, food production, food security, food waste, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, income, models, population growth, socioeconomic development, Australia
Increasing population demand has triggered the enhancement of food production, energy consumption and economic development, however, its impact on climate change has become a global concern. This study applied a novel environmental sustainability assessment tool using dynamic Autoregressive-Distributed Lag (ARDL) simulations for model estimation of the relationships between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy, biomass, food and economic growth for Australia using data spanning from 1970 to 2017. The study found an inversed-U shaped relationship between energy consumption and income level, showing a decarbonized and services economy, hence, improved energy efficiency. While energy consumption increases emissions by 0.4 to 2.8%, biomass consumption supports Australia's transition to a decarbonized economy by reducing GHG emissions by 0.13% and shifts the demand for fossil fuel. Food and energy consumption underpin socio-economic development and vice versa. However, food waste from production and consumption increases ecological footprint, implying a lost opportunity to improve food security and reduce environmental pressure from agricultural production. There is no single path to achieving environmental sustainability, nonetheless, the integrated approach applied in this study reveals conceptual tools which are applicable for decision making.