The Price is Right: Modeling Economic Growth in a Zero Emission Society


Contamination from manufacturing is now widespread, affecting all regions of the world and having serious ecological, economic and political consequences. With growing public interest and surveillance, many governments are considering policies to reduce pollution and improve the quality of the environment. All intergovernmental agreements, such as the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focus on reducing polluting emissions. Concretely, we aim to achieve a “zero emission society” which purifies the emitted pollution and at the same time reduces pollution (this approach to pollution is called “kindergarten rules”).

Of course, achieving this goal requires financial investments and changes in manufacturing strategies, and many fear it will hurt the economy. Currently, the modeling research carried out by researchers at Tokyo University of Science and Shoko Chukin Bank is Posted in Cleaner production logShows that it is possible to achieve economic growth while protecting the environment. “There are existing models that look at how the economy fluctuates under different conditions, such as environmental quality and tax rates, but these models do not take into account the impact of implementation. kindergarten rules. ”, Explained Professor Hideo Noda, lead author of the study. “Therefore, we thought it was important to extend the model to include the condition that the virtual society spend part of the GDP to achieve zero emissions. In addition, looking at emissions is “the quality of the environment”. It is more concrete and easier to understand than the vague concept of “.”

The researchers used an economic model that allows them to move back and forth between two stages: the non-innovative stage and the innovative stage. The key to this model is the importance of innovation. Earlier models focused on the environment and the economy did not see innovation (eg research and development) as a major driver of economic growth in most developed countries. Recognizing this link is essential to improve our understanding of the links between environmental issues and economic growth.

When researchers incorporate the rules of a zero-emission society, the model indicates that even though a portion of GDP is spent on pollution reduction, it is economic growth (i.e., sustainable growth). of GDP). Has been found to be compatible. However, the model indicates that the GDP must exceed a certain level for this to work. In addition, the amount of GDP allocated to pollution reduction must be flexible. The researchers also observed that during the non-innovative phase, GDP growth was high and the amount of money spent on pollution reduction declined rapidly. On the other hand, during the innovation phase, the growth of the GDP will be weak and the sums devoted to the fight against pollution will slow down.

According to Professor Noda, the relationship between zero emissions and economic growth is currently poorly understood, so this study provides an important theoretical basis for policy. “But this topic is very relevant for any policy that promotes sustainability. For example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals section is clearly focused on economic growth, ”he said. I am going to explain. “Our model should help convince the leaders of some countries that it is possible to reduce emissions without damaging the economy.”

Professor Noda hopes leaders will become even more eager to make the changes urgently needed to deal with global environmental crises such as climate change.


About Tokyo University of Science

Tokyo University of Science (TUS) is a well-known and respected university, Japan’s largest private research university specializing in science, and has four campuses in central Tokyo and its suburbs, as well as in Hokkaido. . Founded in 1881, the university has continued to contribute to the development of science in Japan by instilling a love of science in researchers, engineers and educators.

With the mission of “creating science and technology for the harmonious development of nature, mankind and society”, we conduct a wide range of research ranging from basic science to applied science. TUS has taken an interdisciplinary approach to research and has conducted intensive research in some of today’s most important areas. TUS is a meritocracy where the best science is recognized and nurtured. It is the only private university in Japan that has produced Nobel Prize winners, and the only private university in Asia that has produced Nobel Prize winners in the natural sciences.

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About Professor Hideo Noda of Tokyo University of Science

Hideo Noda Professor, Department of Business Economics, Faculty of Business Administration, Tokyo University of Science. Professor Noda holds a doctorate in economics from Kyushu University in Japan. He is the sole author of this treatise and has over 40 research publications for his work. His main areas of research include economic growth, infrastructure management and work-life balance.

Funding Information

This research was partially funded by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (20K01639) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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