Environmental and economic cycles under varying geopolitical uncertainties can lead to unsustainable patterns that significantly and negatively affect the welfare of nations. With the ever-increasing negative environmental and economic impacts, the ability to achieve sustainability is hindered if the implications are not properly assessed in challenging geopolitical crises. The infrequent and fluctuating nature of these challenging geopolitical settings causes disregard and neglect for exploration within this issue. In this study, a comparative life cycle assessment was conducted as a method to evaluate the environmental and economic impacts of construction material flow across country boundaries. Based on the results found from the life cycle assessment, an environmental forecast and sensitivity analysis were established. Considering the State of Qatar as a case study, asphalt and bitumen, cement, limestone, sand, and steel were analyzed from gate-to-gate depending on transportation mode and distances used within both the pre-crisis and post-crisis sub-periods, comparing carbon emissions and costs. The results showed that the mode of transport plays a significant role in terms of carbon dioxide emissions as opposed to distance traveled. However, the increase in distance coupled to the majority shift from land to sea-based transport resulted in an overall increase in carbon emissions and costs post-crisis. In addition, the analysis of the environmental and economic impact assessment using the average CO2 equivalent (CO2-e) per kilogram and the unit price of the five primary construction materials has shown a significant, 70.68% increase in global warming potentials (GWP) after the crisis, coupled with an increase in the overall cost. An assessment of environmental and economic impacts during geopolitical uncertainties allows for the significant ability to realize sustainable measures to greatly reduce economic and environmental degradation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Geography, Planning and Development