Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 Dec 27:1-15. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-24832-6. Online ahead of print.
This study aims to examine the long-run asymmetric impact of energy productivity on environmental quality in Ireland. The data set covers the period from 1990Q1 to 2019Q4. Although the border issue has been the source of contention and terrorism for decades in Ireland, the country is conscious of modern innovations and has a coherent body of environmental law. Ireland’s goal is to achieve 80% of its electricity as renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions by 51% in 2030. Unlike earlier studies, the novelty of this study lies in the thorough analysis of how energy productivity affects the quality of the environment in Ireland while controlling for financial development, primary energy consumption, and economic growth utilizing the nonlinear ARDL approach and other robust econometric techniques. Precisely, the results indicate that (i) energy productivity benefits the environment by lowering CO2 emissions (CO2E) in the long term; (ii) financial sector development enhances the quality of the environment in Ireland; (iii) increase in primary energy consumption and economic growth without eco-friendly protocols propel an increase in CO2E. These findings support the economic theory that energy productivity can stimulate steady green living and green technological growth. We recommend that policymakers in Ireland invest in energy productivity and prioritize R&D that embraces cleaner technologies and cross-cutting eco-friendly policies to combat environmental challenges in Ireland and the world at large.