Gender inequality, reproductive justice, and decoupling economic growth and emissions- a panel analysis of the moderating association of gender equality on the relationship between economic growth and CO2 emissions.

Figure 1a & b: Estimated relationship between gender equity, economic development, and emissions per capita.


Understanding how carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) can be decoupled from economic growth is an important part of planning for climate change mitigation. A variety of critical environmental theories contend that the oppression of marginalized groups is interconnected with the mistreatment and destruction of nature. As a result, social equity, or the removal of barriers of structural inequality, often coincide with environmental quality and reduced environmental degradation. To date, there is limited research on the dialectical relationship between inequality, economic growth, and the environment. The present study seeks to further understand the relationship between social inequality and the environment by assessing how gender equality decouples economic growth from CO2 emissions. We construct a fixed-effects panel regression model with robust standard errors that accounts for clustering in 140 nations to assess how gender inequality interacts with GDP per capita to influence CO2 emissions per capita. Our findings indicate that in nations with more gender equality, the association between GDP per capita and CO2 emissions is much lower than in nations with higher levels of gender inequality.

Environmental Sociology, 6(3)