The process of globalization stated new challenges and opportunities for the world economy. Here, the establishment of the common standards and the exclusion of the majority of trade barriers are supposed to cause the rapid economic development of the majority of players. At the same time, the researchers stated that the globalization is mainly profitable for the developed states that acquire a higher level of technologies and can provide more compatible product for the international markets. In this situation, it is necessary to answer the question about the role of globalization in the changes of the environmental quality in different countries, including both the developing and the developed states.
The globalization processes in the world economy led to the increase of the economic and social cooperation between the modern countries, the elimination of trade and legal barriers for the international business, the stimulation of foreign investments into the economies of the developing countries, and other positive changes in the world socio-economic situation. At the same time, the majority of experts stated that the results of the globalization had a negative effect on the development of the environmental processes. This result was mainly caused by the increase of the world production volume due to the increase of the world economy demand level, and the increase in the transportation of goods and resources throughout the world. Earlier, the customers used to consume the products that were produced on the territory of their country. Nowadays, the clients prefer to consume goods from the foreign countries, which increase the expenses for production and transportation. For example, just a century ago it was impossible to imagine that the majority of the population in the European countries would be able to consume tropical fruits, especially at winter. These fruits were not cultivated in the Northern countries, and the level of trade was completely different from the current one. Today, it is possible for each client throughout the world to visit the market and buy tropical fruits from the Southern counties, despite the season of the year. The costs of these changes included the increase of the emissions from industrial and transport waste. At the same time, the development of the transportation services led to the increase of the fuel resources consumption. Here, the exploitation of the natural energy resources led to the pollution of the sea resources and the depletion of mineral deposits. Also, it is important to define the role of the globalization for the agriculture sector that is considered as the key condition of the humankind survival. Here, the various chemicals had been thrown into the soil, and the caused damage is difficult to overestimate. The increase in the world consumption led to the deforestation, draining of rivers and lakes, changing the mountain landscape. All these changes can have a significant negative effect on the development of the modern society in the future. The most dangerous fact is that the consequences of these changes can be recognized by the following generations, not the current one. In this way, the current generations pay with the future of their heirs for the comfort and satisfaction in the modern life. In this way, it is important to assess the consequences of the globalization for the environment and determine the actions that can reduce the negative effect of globalization in the modern world.
In addition to the negative effects caused by the economic changes of the globalization, it is necessary to recognize the distribution of the negative environmental effect for each country. From this point, the research by McAusland had defined that the global distribution of production in the world had caused the occurrence of the misbalance in the environmental effects of globalization for different countries. Here, the counties with the global specialization on services rather than the production of goods will rather not be affected by the negative environmental effects. At the same time, the countries where the world production is concentrated, like China and India, will definitely suffer from the higher rates of environmental conditions worsening. In this case, it is important to define whether the globalization will cause a higher level of harm to the environment of the countries with the production orientation than the countries with the lower level of production facilities.
In this way, it is important to determine the role of the globalization in the environmental changes that cause the changes of climate. The social importance of this issue can also be explained by the argument of McMichael about the role of the environmental changes in the occurrence of the world conflicts. According to him, the reduction of the fresh water volume in the Middle East had already become the reason for the occurrence of conflicts there. And this is the essential result of the changes in the world environmental conditions. In this way, it is extremely important to determine the role of globalization in these processes to create the opportunities not for just the reduction of the negative effects for the environment, but also for the resolution of the existing conflicts throughout the world.
As can be seen, the literature review supports the statements about the negative role of the globalization in the environmental characteristics of the modern world. The availability of the information about the real level of the environment changes in different countries should be a basis for the empirical study of the connections between these two definitions. At the same time, this research is quite relevant, since it will help the researchers to answer the question about the actions that will be taken to overcome the negative changes in the environment.
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During the study of the literature sources for the presented research, the authors had reached a general conclusion about the negative role of the globalization in the changes of the environment conditions of the majority of the states. The example of the developing countries from different regions showed that the reduced trade barriers and foreign investments can harm the environmental situation in these countries due to the expansion of the production sector. In this case, it is important to collect and study the statistical data connected with several hypotheses about the effect of globalization on the environment of different countries. The hypotheses that will be studied in the research are the following:
- The globalization negatively affects the changes in the environmental conditions in different countries throughout the world.
For this hypothesis, it will be important to study the results of the changes in the environmental conditions in all the member countries, despite their level of the socio-economic development. In this case, the general conclusion about the changes in the environmental conditions for each country will be required. These results will serve for the analysis of the environmental changes contribution caused by the economic changes caused by the globalization process. At the same time, the differentiation of the globalization effect on the environment of the separate states will be considered in the second hypothesis.
- The globalization process will cause higher level of negative environment changes for the countries with the production orientation than for the states with the orientation on the development of the services sector
The process of globalization is supposed to increase the effectiveness of the international labor distribution. The countries with better conditions for the development of the production should be oriented on the increase of the production facilities. As a result, this process will cause the adequate negative changes in the environmental conditions. There is important to discuss the hypothesis whether the countries with production orientation in the globalized world, like China or India, will suffer from the negative environment changes at the higher level than the developed states with orientation on the development of services.
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The statistical data had been used as the main source of information in the discussion of the presented hypotheses. The information from three databases had been used to summarize the level of connection between the globalization process and the changes in the environmental conditions in different countries. According to the requirement of the results objectivity, the data sample included the information about the developed and developing states from different regions. In this way, the achieved results and conclusions should fit the conditions of all types of states. Also, the effect of unaccounted factors in obtaining the results also decreases. For the presented study, the data for the economies of China, India, the US, Germany, France, Indonesia, and South Africa had been used.
Also, the reports of the international organizations were used as a literature source of information about the contribution of globalization to the development of the environmental issues in the modern world.
The statistical data sources with strong reputation had been used as a basis for the presented research. In this situation, the information about the globalization data by country had been collected. The OECD environmental data had also been used to estimate the role of globalization in the environmental changes in the countries. The attraction of these sources of data guaranteed the high quality and reliability of the achieved results.
The statistical analysis of the data will be performed to answer the presented hypothesis. Also, the qualitative analysis of the literature sources will be presented to support the main arguments of the research.
Initially, it is important to present the results of the index of globalization estimation for the discussed countries. It will be used to assess the changes in the level of the environmental changes of each state in the conditions of the globalization. The results of the index of globalization estimation are presented in Appendix 1. This criterion of the globalization level assessment includes three main directions of globalization: economic, social, and political. According to the achieved result, China, India, and South Africa had increased their level of globalization during the last 15 years. At the same time, for the US and Germany, the results did not change significantly, which can be explained by the previously high level of these countries globalization.
The effects of globalization on the environment changes in the presented countries are united in the statistical information about the main environment indicators from the OECD Environment Database. These results are presented in Appendix 2 -5. Unfortunately, there is no information for each of the selected countries in each group of indicators. At the same time, the presented information should become a basis for the development of the general conclusion about the role of the globalization in the environment changes in each state. The results of the water withdrawal indicator show that China had suffered most greatly from the exploitation of its water resources. The lower level of demand for water was present in the US. And France and Germany had presented a significantly lower level of demand for water. In this way, the production centers had in fact presented higher volume of the water resources exploitation.
As for the municipal waste, here the results were distributed according to the level of the countrys economic development. The highest level of waste was present in the US, and other developed stated demonstrated lower values. And for the developed countries, the information was absent. In the exploitation of the forest resources, the sudden changes occurred. Germany, which was not considered as a production center, had presented the highest level of the forest resources exploitation among the participants of the study.
The Air and GHG emission level is the most important indicator of the environment changes in the country. This value affects the climate changes in the country and the general reduction of the living standards for the citizens. According to the results from Appendix 5, the highest levels of the Air and GHG emission were relevant for China, Germany, South Africa, and the US. At the same time, France, India, and Indonesia had demonstrated considerably lower values for this indicator.
The results of the research study show that the globalization had a significant negative effect on the development of the environmental conditions in the majority of the modern states. The summary of the most important environment indicators for each country demonstrated the stable increase in the negative changes of the environmental situation. This conclusion is especially relevant for China and South Africa, which suffered from the permanent production facilities increase during the last decades. For the other countries, the certain reduction of the negative environment conditions took place. This result can be characterized by the high interest to the environmental protection policies in these states. Also, it is important to state that the majority of counties that did not suffer the negative effects of globalization during the last decade already had a high level of integration into the globalized economy. The only exclusion from this rule is India, which had increased the level of appearance in the world economy, but did not face the negative environmental changes as a result of low level of the production facilities increase in the country. In this way, the first hypothesis about the negative role of the globalization in the environment changes in the separate states had been proven.
As for the second hypothesis, the comparison of the environment changes in different countries made it possible to say that the production facilities development level is not the only factor that causes the negative changes in the environment. Here, the results of the Air and GHG emission in China and the US were significantly different, and the US was leading in the emission level. This result can be also explained by the fact of higher economic development of the state. It had defined the higher level of the citizens profits, the higher level of consumption, higher demand for foreign goods, and the higher number of private cars and other products that bring harm to the environment. In this way, it is important to reject the second hypothesis since it does not completely describe the reasons that define the negative changes in the environmental conditions in different countries.
The analysis of the connection between the globalization level and the environmental conditions in different countries allowed the researchers to say that the negative correlation between these values is obvious. The increase of the globalization causes the worsening of the environmental conditions. At the same time, the increase of the production facilities level in the separate country should not be considered as the only factor for the worsening of the environmental conditions. Here, the general increase of the consumption level, the growth of the transportation services, and the increase in the number of the private cars and other tools that harm the environment are other factors that have to be included in the analysis.