Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Nov 12. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-24078-2. Online ahead of print.
This study analyzes material footprint (MF), which can be essential in achieving net zero emission targets and sustainable development goals for EURO-26 countries. Increasing the efficiency of MF rather than domestic material consumption is more effective in reducing emissions. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between MF, economic growth, and CO2 emissions for EURO-26 countries. For empirical analysis, second-generation panel cointegration tests and long-term coefficient estimators, which consider the cross-sectional dependence, are employed. The empirical results indicate that (i) there is a long-term relationship between the variables and (ii) MF increases the CO2 emissions. However, the positive relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions is statistically insignificant. According to the individual results, while the impact of MF on CO2 emissions is negative in developed countries, MF increases CO2 emissions in developing countries in general. Overall findings reveal that long-term material footprint strategies should be implemented in EURO-26 countries and material footprint policies can be used as a strategic tool to achieve net zero emission targets and sustainable development goals (SDGs).