Linking Population Growth Reduction to Climate Change Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/nv935454q

2011

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  • By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 9 billion. Fears of the impact of such a large population on earth’s environmental systems and finite resources have lead efforts by governmental and non-governmental agencies to assist developing nations in reducing fertility rates to slow population growth by direct medical resources such as family planning, education centers, and through economic assistance. At the same time, scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change has indicated that without immediate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change could dramatically alter regional climates and negatively impact living conditions for populations around the globe, especially populations in less developed countries (LDCs). A conflict of interest could exist for the overall planetary population if the increasing development of LDCs for the purpose of reducing fertility rates and population growth as well as egalitarianism, leads to increased demand and consumption of fossil fuels for energy. In this paper four regressions are used to analyze data on national fertility rates and other population growth indicators as well as national socio-economic status indicators with national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita and consumption rates of oil, coal and natural gas. The results indicate that fertility rates and gross domestic product (GDP) or gross national income do have a negative relationship with CO2 emissions per capita and oil consumption, yet only GDP can be associated with increased consumption of coal and natural gas. Although international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global climate change are stagnant, policies to address population growth in less developed nations may need to be coupled with aide in the development of non-fossil fuel energy sources in developing nations to reduce increasing the global rate of greenhouse gas emissions as LDCs increase in energy demand rises with economic growth.
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