Environ. Sociol. http://doi.org/c6xf (2019).

Wealthy governments base their strategies for providing aid to poor nations on a normative consensus on governance. Energy sector aid is typically framed as a means of generating economic growth, and is primarily based on investment in carbon-based energy infrastructure. While this development strategy may achieve donor goals of increasing access to reliable energy, doing so through fossil fuel use may have environmental consequences that are at odds with the goals of environmental international non-governing organizations (EINGOs).

Kent Henderson, from California State University, Bakersfield, analysed a panel dataset of 121 countries, from 1973 to 2011, to determine how the interaction between international development and environmental group interests impacts emissions in energy-aid recipient countries. He found that increased energy sector aid is associated with higher CO2 emissions. However, this emissions effect from energy aid is reduced in countries with more ties to EINGOs, suggesting that pressure from environmental organizations to protect the environment, offsets emission increases from energy development. Thus, contradictory norms between energy development and environmental protection force world polity to mitigate its own negative environmental effects.