SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT - Global hidden spillover effects among concurrent green initiatives


March 20, 2024 - <>, <>, Qi Zhang, Conghe Song, Driss Ezzine-de-Blas, Jie Dai, Huijie Zhang, Rebecca Lewison, Eve Bohnett, Douglas Stow, Weihua Xu, Brett A Bryan

doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.169880


Concurrently implemented green initiatives to combat global environmental crises may be curtailed or even sacrificed given the ongoing global economic contraction. We collected empirical data and information about green initiatives from 15 sites or countries worldwide. We systematically explored how specific policy, intended behaviors, and gains of given green initiative may interact with those of other green initiatives concurrently implemented in the same geographic area or involving the same recipients. Surprisingly, we found that spillover effects were very divergent: one initiative could reduce the gain of another by 22 % ∼ 100 %, representing alarming losses, while in other instances, substantial co-benefits could arise as one initiative can increase the gain of another by 9 % ∼ 310 %. Leveraging these effects will help countries keep green initiatives with significant co-benefits but stop initiatives with substantial spillover losses in the face of widespread budget cuts, better meeting the United Nations' sustainable development goals.



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