Laboratory for Energy Economics and Environmental Management

Ongoing Projects - Sustainability

List of Projects on Sustainability:


  • A decomposition analysis of changes in energy use and CO2 emissions in the Ghanaian energy economy by Michael Owusu Appiah and Lin Zhang


  • Bureaucratic Quality, Human Capital, and the Environment by Yao Yao, Haowei Yu and Lin Zhang


  • Can Human Capital Harness CO2 Emissions? by Yao Yao, Lin Zhang, Ruhul Salim, Shuddha Rafiq


  • Effects of Political and Ecological Uncertainties on Environmental Policies by Aude Pommeret, Haowei Yu and Lin Zhang


  • Growing by recycling: An empirical evidence from OECD countries by Julie Metta and Lin Zhang


  • Is Opening to FDI Good or Bad for Economies with Low Bureaucratic Quality? by Haowei Yu and Gregmar Galinato


Project Details :


  • A decomposition analysis of changes in energy use and CO2 emissions in the Ghanaian energy economy by Michael Owusu Appiah and Lin Zhang

  • Abstract: Mitigating global warming which mainly derives from GHG emissions without compromising economic growth and development has in the recent years remained very topical in many global summits, raising passionate debate in both scientific and political circles about how to balance the two. This is particularly so because of the serious implications of CO2 emissions for the quality of the environment; unleashing its concomitant effects on economic activities as well as the health of the citizens. This paper investigated the underlying drivers of changes in energy and energy-related emissions of the Ghanaian economy by employing decomposition analysis based on the Log Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) proposed by Ang (2005) using data spanning from 1980 to 2015. The data were divided into sub-periods to make the analysis parsimonious and more comprehensible. A sectoral analysis was conducted on the five cardinal sectors of the Ghanaian economy namely, the agricultural, industry, services and commercial, transport and residential sectors. The main energy sources are petroleum, traditional biomass fuels, natural gas, and electricity which is generated from fossil fuels and hydropower. The growing influence of the service sector is reflected in the increase in CO2 emissions. The results also showed that economic activity effect (scale effect) is the principal underlying driver of positive changes in both carbon emissions and energy use.


  • Bureaucratic Quality, Human Capital, and the Environment by Yao Yao, Haowei Yu and Lin Zhang

  • Abstract: There are countries with high human capital but low institutional quality, there are also countries with high institutional quality but low human capital. In practice, both types of countries may feature low environmental quality. Therefore, this paper tries to theoretically and empirically prove that there should be a significant environmental improvement when both human capital and institutional quality are high enough.


  • Can Human Capital Harness CO2 Emissions? by Yao Yao, Lin Zhang, Ruhul Salim, Shuddha Rafiq

  • Abstract: We examine the environmental impacts of human capital by using a provincial panel of China over the 1997–2016 period. We find human capital impacts CO2 emissions negatively in the long run, which is driven by specific age cohort and by particular type of human capital. With disaggregate emission data by energy sources and end emitters, we further demonstrate that human capital abates CO2 emissions through technology effect, and to some extent via energy efficiency improvement. These identified mechanisms are limited within the production sector and are absent from the household sector. Our finding is robust to a rich set of sensitivity checks addressing alternative pollution indicator, reverse causality and spatial consideration for instance.


  • Effects of Political and Ecological Uncertainties on Environmental Policies by Aude Pommeret, Haowei Yu and Lin Zhang

  • Abstract: We want to propose “working” policy suggestions for the complicated real world governance. Existing studies are normally highly simplified models of the real world, and the results may not be applicable when faced with much more complicated real problems. We considered natural uncertainty (e.g., catastrophe) and political uncertainty (e.g., lobbying) in our model, and try to find out feasible solutions to welfare maximization in such a case.


  • Growing by recycling: An empirical evidence from OECD countries by Julie Metta and Lin Zhang

  • Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of the waste recycling on economic outputs for OECD countries from 2000 to 2012. We find positive and statistically significant impact of waste recovering on the economy. An increase of one percent of the recycled waste will lead to an increase of GDP by up to 0.44 percent. Waste management could be a new growth point for a stagnating economy. In addition, the benefits of waste recycling can be reinforced through two channels – labour and education. Therefore, the government could consider funding support for labour and education in the recycling industry, as it will not only enhance the environmental management but also bring in positive benefits of waste recycling on economic performance.


  • Is Opening to FDI Good or Bad for Economies with Low Bureaucratic Quality? by Haowei Yu and Gregmar Galinato

  • Abstract: Opening to FDI may not necessarily be good for the economy. Traditional trade literatures often argues that international firms are more productive and less pollution-intensive, and therefore opening to FDI will benefit the economy. However, these conditions are not necessarily true. We try to show that opening up to FDI is good for the economy only when bureaucratic quality is high enough, otherwise the economy may worse off. The hypothesis should be true especially when foreign firms are more pollution-intensive.