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Environmental pollution, economic growth, population, industrialization, and technology in weak and strong sustainability: using STIRPAT model

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The recent decades have witnessed an alarmingly phenomenal rise in population and economic growth, increasing the global resource demand and environmental degradation. The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationships between population, industrialization, affluence, technology, and sustainability. Approaching sustainability, a couple of viewpoints including weak and strong sustainability establish two different priorities, albeit with possibly the same factors as in the IPAT and STIRPAT models. This paper employs STIRPAT equation to estimate the relationships between population, industrialization, affluence, technology, and sustainability in MENA and OECD countries during 1975–2015. The results suggest that weak and strong sustainability, albeit slightly, is affected negatively by population and industrialization, and positively by technology and international agreements on environment, in MENA and OECD countries during 1975–2015. Therefore, the policy-makers in sustainability are advised to develop preventive and qualitative strategies for population and industrial activities, but inflationary ones for technology; besides the governments are suggested to confirm, join, and sign the international treaties on environmental conservation.

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Fig. 1

Source: Cato (2009) (The original design of this figure, Cato (2009), has three elements including economy, environment, and society, while we add other elements, technology, and industrialization, to show the sustainability in a quintuple-layer form.)

Fig. 2

Source: Cato (2009)

Fig. 3

Source: research findings


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Correspondence to Mohadeseh-sadat Hashemi.

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Nasrollahi, Z., Hashemi, M., Bameri, S. et al. Environmental pollution, economic growth, population, industrialization, and technology in weak and strong sustainability: using STIRPAT model. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 1105–1122 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-018-0237-5

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  • Weak sustainability
  • Strong sustainability
  • Environmental pollution
  • Economic growth
  • International agreements