Impact of energy innovation on greenhouse gas emissions: moderation of regional integration and social inequality in Asian economies

In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Asian countries are trying to realize the potential of energy innovation. However, several structural issues might deter the expected impact of energy innovation on GHG emissions. Given the ecologically unsustainable economic growth trajectory of Asian countries, achieving the full potential of energy innovation is necessary, and therefore an efficient development and diffusion of these solutions requires a policy reorientation. Given the present situation of Asian countries in attaining SDG objectives, there is a void in the academic literature in terms of a policy framework, and there lies the contribution of the present study. This study aims to shed light on how regional integration and social inequality can moderate the desired environmental impact of energy innovation. Based on the outcomes of the study conducted on 24 Asian countries over the period 1990–2019, this study has recommended a multipronged SDG-oriented policy framework. This policy framework is developed by considering the internal and external structural issues with Asian countries, and, using a phase-wise policy implementation approach, a way to address the objectives of SDGs 7, 9, and 13 is discussed.