Do Sustainable Energy Policies Matter for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

48 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2020

See all articles by Donatella Baiardi

Donatella Baiardi

University of Pavia; University of Parma

Date Written: December 13, 2019


Yes, they matter. To reply to this question, we assess the impact of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies on six different air pollutants: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxides (N2O), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the case of the Italian provinces in the decade 2005-2015. The empirical analysis is per-formed in a panel data context by means of propensity score matching with multiple treatment, since our framework is characterized by the presence of two treatments, corresponding to the two different energy policies analyzed, i.e. energy efficiency policy and renewable policy. These two policies can be applied by each province as mutually exclusive strategies or as joint strategies. Our results show that renewable policies are the most effective in terms of climate goals especially when implemented on a local scale, while energy efficiency policies alone are ineffective. Moreover, the success of these policies depends on the type of pollutant to be reduced. Finally, we note that the effect of these two policies was reinforced by the counter-cyclical fiscal policies implemented to contrast the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.

Keywords: Energy efficiency policies; Renewable energy policies; Global air pollutants; Local air pollutants; Propensity score matching with multiple treatment; Italian provinces

JEL Classification: Q50; Q40; Q53; Q58; Q48; Q20

Suggested Citation

Baiardi, Donatella, Do Sustainable Energy Policies Matter for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions? (December 13, 2019). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 425, January 2020, Available at SSRN: or

Donatella Baiardi (Contact Author)

University of Pavia ( email )

Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, 27100

University of Parma ( email )

Via Amendola 10
Parma, 43100
United States

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