Population growth is the main driver of increased carbon emissions, study finds

| May 10, 2023 | Leave a Comment

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Date of Publication: April 24

Year of Publication: 2023

Publication City: Isle of Man, UK

Publisher: Phys Org

Author(s): Swedish Research Council

The richest countries emit more carbon dioxide than the rest of the world combined, while population is only growing in the poorest countries. These are two widespread notions that argue for focusing on reducing emissions per capita in order to mitigate climate change. But this is not entirely true on the light of data from the last 30 years, new research published in the journal Sustainability shows.

A dominant narrative in the climate change debate is that addressing population is not relevant for mitigation. This is because the population is only growing in the poorest countries, whose contribution to global carbon emissions is negligible, the reasoning goes. The largest emissions come instead from rich countries where the population no longer grows.

“This way of reasoning is not correct. Our thorough analysis suggests that climate change mitigation strategies should address population along with per capita consumption and technological innovation. A comprehensive approach to the problem is needed,” says Giangiacomo Bravo, professor at Linnaeus University.

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