A Comprehensive Assessment of the Literature on the Determinants of Environmental Degradation


  • Andrea Gatto
  • Alina Nuta


Environmental degradation becomes a systemic risk influenced by individual or collective action. Progressively, we feel the effects of environmental changes. Global stakeholders are searching for measures to mitigate the pace of environmental damage generated by the economic growth models in place and advocate for switching towards green development options. Urbanization, economic growth, financial development, innovation, renewable and nonrenewable energy consumption, and globalization are only examples of factors used in different studies to describe how human activities impact the environment. Nevertheless, they depend on the economic development level and can have mixed effects. The literature includes a wide range of studies on the impact of certain factors on the environment. We aim to analyze the literature to highlight the influence of the relevant elements on the environment, highlighting the contextual factors. There are three directions to follow in the study of the empirical literature: the factors influencing the environment, whether it is a positive or negative impact, and the environmental component included in the analysis. The last direction is significant to assess as most studies (Abban et al., 2022; Abban et al., 2023; Ayad et al., 2023; Balsalobre-Lorente et al., 2023; Cigu et al., 2020; Dilanchiev et al., 2023; F M Nuta , A C Nuta (2012)  Jiang et al., 2023; I. Khan et al., 2023; S. U. Khan et al., 2023; Nazam et al., 2022; Nureen et al., 2023; Nuta et al., 2021; Nuta, F. M. (2011a); Nuta, F. M. (2011b) Petrea et al., 2021; Tiwari et al., 2023; Zhang et al., 2023) use the level of carbon emissions to discuss environmental degradation. Lately, recent research (Nuta et al., 2015; Nuta & Nuta, 2017; Shahbaz et al., 2023) used ecological footprint to assess environmental issues. However, many other environmental features are less explored


Abban, O. J., Hongxing, Y., Nuta, A. C., Dankyi, A. B., Ofori, C., & Cobbinah, J. (2022). Renewable energy, economic growth, and CO2 emissions contained Co-movement in African oil-producing countries: A wavelet based analysis. Energy Strategy Reviews, 44, 100977. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esr.2022.100977

Abban, O. J., Xing, Y. H., Nuta, A. C., Nuta, F. M., Borah, P. S., Ofori, C., & Jing, Y. J. (2023). Policies for carbon-zero targets: Examining the spillover effects of renewable energy and patent applications on environmental quality in Europe. Energy Economics, 126, 106954. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2023.106954

Ayad, H., Mishra, P., Kumari, B., Ray, S., Nuta, F. M., Gautam, R., Balsalobre-Lorente, D., Nuta, A. C., & Zamfir, C. G. (2023). The spillover effects of uncertainty and globalization on environmental quality in India: Evidence from combined cointegration test and augmented ARDL model. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1144201. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1144201

Balsalobre-Lorente, D., Shahbaz, M., Murshed, M., & Nuta, F. M. (2023). Environmental impact of globalization: The case of central and Eastern European emerging economies. Journal of Environmental Management, 341, 118018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118018

Cigu, E., Petrisor, M.-B., Nuta, A.-C., Nuta, F.-M., & Bostan, I. (2020). The Nexus between Financial Regulation and Green Sustainable Economy. Sustainability, 12(21), 8778. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218778

Dilanchiev, A., Nuta, F., Khan, I., & Khan, H. (2023). Urbanization, renewable energy production, and carbon dioxide emission in BSEC member states: Implications for climate change mitigation and energy markets. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(25), 67338–67350. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-27221-9

Jiang, N., Nuta, A. C., & Zamfir, C. G. (2023). Literacy rate impact on innovations and environmental pollution in China. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1154052. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1154052

Khan, I., Zhong, R., Khan, H., Dong, Y., & Nuta, F. M. (2023). Examining the relationship between technological innovation, economic growth and carbon dioxide emission: Dynamic panel data evidence. Environment, Development and Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-023-03384-w

Khan, S. U., Sheikh, M. R., Dimen, L., Batool, H., Abbas, A., & Nuta, A. C. (2023). Nexus between health poverty and climatic variability in Pakistan: A geospatial analysis. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1180556. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1180556

Nazam, M., Hashim, M., Nuta, F. M., Yao, L., Zia, M. A., Malik, M. Y., Usman, M., & Dimen, L. (2022). Devising a Mechanism for Analyzing the Barriers of Blockchain Adoption in the Textile Supply Chain: A Sustainable Business Perspective. Sustainability, 14(23), 16159. https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316159

Nureen, N., Sun, H., Irfan, M., Nuta, A. C., & Malik, M. (2023). Digital transformation: Fresh insights to implement green supply chain management, eco-technological innovation, and collaborative capability in manufacturing sector of an emerging economy. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(32), 78168–78181. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-27796-3

Nuta , F M and Nuta A C (2012) Environmental Liabilities Accounting: A Review Of Some Standards And Guidelines Journal of Public Administration , volume 2 , issue 2 , p. 47 - 51

Nuta, F. M. (2011a), Public environmental spending and the economic growth in Romania. Euro Economica, 29(03), 109-113

Nuta, F. M. (2011b). The Relationship between Stakeholder’s Pressure and New Performance Dimension Including Social Responsibility. EuroEconomica, 27(1)

Nuta, F. M., & Nuta, A. C. (2017). Greening the Economic Growth in Romania: The Environmental Footprint Approach. In W. Leal Filho, D.-M. Pociovalisteanu, & A. Q. Al-Amin (Eds.), Sustainable Economic Development (pp. 233–241). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45081-0_13

Nuta, F. M., Nuta, A. C., Zamfir, C. G., Petrea, S.-M., Munteanu, D., & Cristea, D. S. (2021). National Carbon Accounting—Analyzing the Impact of Urbanization and Energy-Related Factors upon CO2 Emissions in Central–Eastern European Countries by Using Machine Learning Algorithms and Panel Data Analysis. Energies, 14(10), 2775. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102775

Nuta, F. M., Tabara, N., Nuta, A. C., & Cretu, C. (2015). An assessment upon the environmental policy in Romania. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja, 28(1), 641–649. https://doi.org/10.1080/1331677X.2015.1083874

Petrea, S. M., Zamfir, C., Simionov, I. A., Mogodan, A., Nuta, F. M., Rahoveanu, A. T., Nancu, D., Cristea, D. S., & Buhociu, F. M. (2021). A Forecasting and Prediction Methodology for Improving the Blue Economy Resilience to Climate Change in the Romanian Lower Danube Euroregion. Sustainability, 13(21), 11563. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111563

Shahbaz, M., Nuta, A. C., Mishra, P., & Ayad, H. (2023). The impact of informality and institutional quality on environmental footprint: The case of emerging economies in a comparative approach. Journal of Environmental Management, 348, 119325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.119325

Tiwari, S., Sharif, A., Nuta, F., Nuta, A. C., Cutcu, I., & Eren, M. V. (2023). Sustainable pathways for attaining net-zero emissions in European emerging countries—The nexus between renewable energy sources and ecological footprint. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(48), 105999–106014. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-023-29704-1

Zhang, Z., Nuta, F. M., Dimen, L., Ullah, I., Xuanye, S., Junchen, Y., Yihan, Z., & Yi, C. (2023). Relationship between FDI inflow, CO2 emissions, renewable energy consumption, and population health quality in China. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1120970. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1120970