How do foreign direct investment flows affect carbon emissions in BRICS countries? Revisiting the pollution haven hypothesis using bilateral FDI flows from OECD to BRICS countries

Nicholas Apergis, Mehmet Pinar, Emre Unlu

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Abstract

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows from developed to developing countries may increase carbon emissions in developing countries as developing countries are seen as pollution havens due to their lenient environmental regulations. On the other hand, FDI flows from the developed world may improve management practices and advanced technologies in developing countries, and an increase in FDI flows reduces carbon emissions. Most of the existing studies examine the relationship between FDI flows and carbon emissions by using aggregate FDI flows; however, this paper contributes to the literature by analyzing the impact of FDI flows on carbon emissions in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) between 1993 and 2012 using bilateral FDI flows from eleven OECD countries. According to our empirical results, from which OECD country FDI flows to BRICS countries matters for carbon emissions in BRICS countries. Our results confirm that FDI flows to BRICS countries from Denmark and the UK increase carbon emissions in BRICS countries, confirming the pollution haven hypothesis. On the other hand, FDI that flows from France, Germany, and Italy reduced carbon emissions in the BRICS countries, confirming the pollution halo effect. FDI flows from Austria, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland have no significant impact on carbon emissions in BRICS countries. The BRICS countries should promote clean FDI flows by reducing environmental damages, and investing countries should be rated based on their environmental damage in the host countries. [Abstract copyright: © 2022. The Author(s).]
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date26 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Pollution haven hypothesis
  • OECD countries
  • BRICS countries
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Pollution halo effect

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