Will researching digital technology really empower green development?

Lei Wang, Yangyang Chen, Thomas Stephen Ramsey, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The information industry has become a “new engine” driving the growth of the world economy. However, there are many controversies about whether digital technology can reduce the intensity of carbon emissions. Based on OECD data, KPWW method and multiple panel regression, this paper explores the impact and mechanism of digital technology innovation and technology spillover to the domestic carbon emission intensity. Through impulse response analysis and variance decomposition, the comprehensive impact of digital technology on carbon intensity is clarified. This paper concludes that technology innovation in the information industry will increase the intensity of carbon emissions, while cross-industry technology spillovers are persistent for reducing the intensity of domestic carbon emissions. Since the emission reduction effect of technology spillover is greater than the emission increase effect of technology innovation, the digital technology would empower domestic green development. Increasing the proportion of non-fossil energy use and optimizing the industrial structure are effective mechanisms for digital technology innovation to reduce carbon emission intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101638
JournalTechnology in Society
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Carbon emission intensity
  • Digital technology
  • Technology spillover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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