SUSTAINABILITY, vol.15, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Rapid industrialization tends to occur at the expense of natural resources. Thus, countries are inclined to control natural resources for their development objectives, which may create conflicts when countries allocate scarce resources to national defense. As a major military block, NATO poses a potential threat to environmental degradation, as it comprises large industrialized arms manufacturers and military spenders. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the asymmetric effects of the defense burden on environmental degradation, which has rarely been studied in the empirical literature. Panel ARDL and NARDL methodologies were used to analyze the period 1965-2018 for the 15 oldest members of NATO. The findings of the panel ARDL analysis do not indicate any significant effect of the defense burden (ME) on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) in the long term. On the other hand, panel NARDL analysis indicates that the effect of the defense burden on carbon emissions is asymmetric; a 1% negative change in ME leads to a 0.08% drop in CO2 emissions in the long term. In line with these findings, the results of panel causality tests verify the validity of the treadmill of destruction theory.