Sustainability in the food-energy-water nexus: Evidence from BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa) countries

This study explores the ecological indicators relevant to long-term sustainability by the food-energy-water nexus among BRICS (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa). The sustainability issue arises with the EKC (environmental Kuznets curve) hypothesis and biodiversity that require proper resource allocation to provide food security among the BRICS countries. This study then employs principal component analysis to construct a food security index comprising agricultural machinery, land under cereal production, and agricultural value added. Furthermore, it employs dynamic panel modeling in a GMM (generalized method of moments) system to obtain reliable parameter estimates. The results reveal that energy shortages and inadequate water resources impair the BRICS' food security. Economic growth amplifies energy demand and environmental degradation. Depletion of forests and natural resources encumbers economic prosperity, which is driven by rapid industrialization, high growth, domestic investment, improved water sources, and labor force participation. The EKC hypothesis tested across the BRICS countries, with the finding that an inverted U curve indeed does exist between carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth for Brazil, India, and South Africa, even if not for the entire panel of countries, is still a significant finding and provides motivation for new (and better) integrated economic-environmental policies.