Green growth assessment across 203 economies: Trends and insights

Green growth underpins the achievement of sustainable transition through continued economic development while addressing threats to environmental sustainability and socially inclusive well-being. Yet, decoupling economic growth from natural resource depletion and environmental degradation while achieving long-term sustainable development remains complex. Here, we present a comprehensive evaluation of green growth across 203 economies using our novel dataset (i.e., Data descriptor titled, “Comprehensive green growth indicators across countries and territories” published in Scientific Data) to examine the determinants and indicators of green growth and their variations across diverse countries and regions. We further analyze the long-term trends and patterns of green growth performance, drawing insights from historical data for future policy-making. Finally, we examine the policy implications of β-convergence in green growth while addressing regional disparities. We use the constructed global measures of green growth to rank (winners and losers) countries with environmentally sustainable economic development. The top ten economies with high performance in green growth include Monaco, Singapore, New Zealand, New Caledonia, American Samoa, the US, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Australia. In contrast, the bottom ten economies ranked by their low green growth performance include Saint Martin, Faeroe Islands, Turkmenistan, Sint Maarten, Palau, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Bermuda, Suriname, and Curacao in a bottom-up fashion. Our empirical results show that green growth policies that internalize the negative effects of sustainable development improve a country's socioeconomic dynamics, environmental quality of life, natural asset base, policy responses, and emission productivity.

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