This study analyzes how the three pillars of sustainable development (economic growth, social justice, and environmental protection) have influenced each other for the past twenty-six years (from 1987 to 2013). The relationship between the triangular pillar of SD can be characterized by “ecological modernization”, “eco-socialism”, and the traditional debate between growth and distribution. This paper examined the correlation analysis of the nine representative variables in the three categories, adopting the cases of twenty-six OECD countries. In particular, the panel analysis (PCSE models) was conducted to identify the seven independent determinants affecting both response (dependent) variables and environmental factors (“CO2
emissions” and “renewable electricity output”). In short, during the entire period, the findings reveal that all economic and social variables did not have a positive impact on reducing CO2
emissions. However, the variables of “employment in industry” and “social expenditure” are effected by the increase of renewable electricity output. Consequently, highlighting the detailed findings different for each set period (1987–2013, 1987–2002, and 2003–2013), this study suggests the implications of the analysis result in the light of the theories of ecological modernization and eco-socialism.
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