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Achieving environmental sustainability through information technology: “Digital Pakistan” initiative for green development

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Abstract

The importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in environmental resource management opens a new debate for the policy makers in order to promote green technologies to mitigate high mass carbon emissions across the globe. “Digital Pakistan” initiative is taken by the government that aimed to use technology for country’s social welfare, which further be enhance for achieving environmental sustainability over a time horizon. This study examined the long-run relationship between ICTs, energy demand, and carbon emissions in a context of Pakistan by using a time series data from 1975 to 2017. The results show that energy demand increases economic growth in the short-run while it decreases economic growth in the long-run. The country’s economic growth substantially increases along with an increase in trade openness and mobile-telephone subscription (ICTs) in the short-run; however, the result is changed in the long-run due to increase in carbon emissions in a given time period. The results provoke that continued economic growth and ICT penetration substantially decreases energy demand, whereas urbanization increases energy demand in a country. The results show that variations in emissions associated with proportionate changes in ICTs penetration, economic growth, energy demand, and population growth. Human capital, trade openness, and energy demand are the significant drivers of ICT penetration in a country. The study concludes that the use of green technology is imperative for achieving long-term sustainable growth in a country.

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Nizam, H.A., Zaman, K., Khan, K.B. et al. Achieving environmental sustainability through information technology: “Digital Pakistan” initiative for green development. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-07683-x

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Keywords

  • ICTs penetration
  • Energy demand
  • Carbon emissions
  • Trade openness
  • Human capita
  • ARDL bounds test
  • Pakistan