I = P AT equation: the weight of the P factor in addressing climate change

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Lucia Tamburino , Philip Cafaro


A dominant narrative is that addressing population is not relevant to mitigating climate change because population is only growing in the poorest countries, whose contribution to global emissions is negligible. An analysis of carbon emissions and population for the World Bank’s four income-based country groups, however, shows that: (i) the low-income group represents the smallest fraction of the global population (8%), while the largest fraction (43%) belongs to the lower-middle group, whose contribution to global emissions is not negligible; (ii) population is growing not only in the low-income group, but in all four groups; (iii) fertility remains above replacement rate in almost all countries in the low-income and lower-middle groups, in about half of the countries of the upper-middle group, and in 3 countries of the high-income group; (iv) population growth has been the main driver of increased carbon emissions over the last three decades, both in the high-income group and at the global level.




Physical Sciences and Mathematics


total carbon emissions, per-capita carbon emissions, carbon emissions variation, income-based country groups


Published: 2022-07-09 01:46

Last Updated: 2022-07-09 08:46


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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