Green infrastructure has been considered as one potential solution for improving air quality as well as enhancing environmental sustainability in the modern era. Therefore, the study aims to examine the impact of green economic infrastructure on environmental sustainability in one belt and road initiative (OBRI) economies for the period 2007 to 2019. For empirical investigations, the study adopts 2SLS and GMM approaches. The study uses three proxies to measure green economic infrastructure, namely, green logistics, use of the internet, and green technology. Our 2SLS findings demonstrate that green logistics increases CO2 in OBRI, Central Asia, MENA and reduces CO2 in Europe. However, GMM findings report that green logistics increases CO2 in OBRI, central Asia, and MENA and reduces CO2 in Europe. While our 2SLS findings show that internet use reduces CO2 in OBRI and East and Southeast Asia Europe and increases CO2 in MENA. While GMM findings reveal that the use of the internet reduces CO2 in OBRI and Europe and increases in East and Southeast Asia and MENA. While green technology also enhances environmental sustainability in OBRI. Based on the findings, environmental policies can be revised for OBRI economies.
Since the industrial revolution economic and social activities performed by humans have massively infused carbon emissions into the environment. The primary source of carbon emissions is heavy reliance on fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, and gas) to speed up the process of economic growth. However, massive greenhouse gas emission (GHG) in the ecosystem is the main reason behind severe weather change, droughts, foods, melting of glaciers, rising sea levels, and high temperatures (Usman et al. 2021) which have jeopardized the existence of mankind on the earth. Among GHG emissions, the leading source of polluting the environment and global warming is CO2 emissions (Ozturk, 2017). Though the process of economic development has started after the industrial revolution, this process has gathered the pace in the last half of the previous century. As a result, the speed of carbon emissions in the environment has also increased manifold, inducing academics, environmentalists, and policymakers to look into the factors that can protect the environment without hampering the process of economic growth. Consistent with this view a growing number of economists in the world are presently trying to produce economic models that rely less on the low amount of carbon for development (Roberts and Stalker 2020).
Conclusion and policy implications
The study aims to investigate the impact of green economic infrastructure on CO2 emissions in OBRI and sub-regions of OBRI economies for time period 2007–2019, by using 2SLS and GMM techniques. The sub-regions of OBRI economies are disaggregated into fve groups, namely, Central Asia, South Asia, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and MENA economies. The study contributes to the literature by using three proxies of green economic infrastructure such as green logistics, internet, and green technology. The results of 2SLS infer that green logistics has a harmful impact on environmental quality in OBRI economies, Central Asia, MENA, while it reduces CO2 emissions in only Europe. The empirical fndings of GMM conclude that green logistics have a signifcant positive impact on CO2 emissions in OBRI economies, while it has a positive increasing impact on CO2 emissions in Central Asia and MENA and a signifcant decreasing impact in Europe.