News Release

Green growth in Europe: Decoding the EU's journey to sustainability (1990-2019)

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences

Bibliographic analysis using Vosviewer software exhibits the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation, economic development, GDP, GHGs, energy use, and sustainability.


Bibliographic analysis using Vosviewer software exhibits the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation, economic development, GDP, GHGs, energy use, and sustainability.

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Credit: Environmental Science and Ecotechnology

In the last century, global economic growth, spurred by globalization and technological advances, led to increased environmental degradation, primarily due to greenhouse gases from economic activities. This trend accelerated climate change, particularly in the European Union, where rising energy consumption and CO2 emissions became major concerns. To address this, the EU introduced policies like the European Green Deal and the 'Fit for 55' initiative, aiming for 'net-zero' emissions by 2050.

In a recent study published in Volume 18 of the journal Environmental Science and Ecotechnology, researchers evaluated the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) in the EU-27 from 1990 to 2019. The study focuses on analyzing trends towards environmental sustainability in these countries.

The research spanning 29 years (1990-2019) across EU-27 countries examined the complex interplay between economic growth and environmental impact using the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) framework. This framework suggests that environmental degradation initially increases with economic growth but decreases at higher income levels. The study thoroughly analyzed CO2 emissions in relation to energy consumption, GDP, and population dynamics, revealing a significant decrease in CO2 emissions despite economic and population growth. Advanced econometric methods showed a positive trend: as EU economies expanded, they became cleaner and more resource-efficient. This change is attributed to effective EU environmental policies, technological progress, and increased sustainability awareness.


  • The total GHG emissions of the EU-27 were reduced significantly (p < 0.05).
  • The energy consumption increased significantly by +1.18 Mtoe per year (p < 0.05).
  • The Environmental Kuznets Curve relation has been confirmed within EU-27.
  • Economic development within the EU-27 has started to improve the environment.

Lead researcher Safwan Mohammed emphasizes the significance of the study in understanding how economic development, policy interventions, and environmental sustainability intersect in the EU context.

The study's findings affirm the effectiveness of EU environmental policies, emphasizing the vital role of economic growth in enhancing environmental quality. These insights are crucial for policymakers and stakeholders in shaping sustainable development strategies and environmental protection measures.





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Funding information

The Hungary's National Research, Development, and Innovation Fund, financed under the TKP2021-NKTA funding scheme (TKP2021-NKTA-32).

About Environmental Science and Ecotechnology

Environmental Science and Ecotechnology (ISSN 2666-4984) is an international, peer-reviewed, and open-access journal published by Elsevier. The journal publishes significant views and research across the full spectrum of ecology and environmental sciences, such as climate change, sustainability, biodiversity conservation, environment & health, green catalysis/processing for pollution control, and AI-driven environmental engineering. The latest impact factor of ESE is 12.6, according to the Journal Citation ReportTM 2022.

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