• The impact of sustainability awareness and moral values on environmental laws

      Li, Rita Yi Man; Li, Yi Lut; Crabbe, M. James C.; Manta, Otilia; Shoaib, Muhammad; Hong Kong Shue Yan University; Hastings & Co.; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire; Shanxi University; et al. (MDPI, 2021-05-24)
      We argue that environmental legislation and regulation of more developed countries reflects significantly their moral values, but in less developed countries it differs significantly from their moral values. We examined this topic by using the keywords “sustainability” and “sustainable development”, studying web pages and articles published between 1974 to 2018 in Web of Science, Scopus and Google. Australia, Zimbabwe, and Uganda were ranked as the top three countries in the number of Google searches for sustainability. The top five cities that appeared in sustainability searches through Google are all from Africa. In terms of academic publications, China, India, and Brazil record among the largest numbers of sustainability and sustainable development articles in Scopus. Six out of the ten top productive institutions publishing sustainable development articles indexed in Scopus were located in developing countries, indicating that developing countries are well aware of the issues surrounding sustainable development. Our results show that when environmental law reflects moral values for betterment, legal adoption is more likely to be successful, which usually happens in well developed regions. In less-developed states, environmental law differs significantly from moral values, such that changes in moral values are necessary for successful legal implementation. Our study has important implications for the development of policies and cultures, together with the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in all countries.