Energy: The Link between GDP and Emissions

Jan-Erik Lane


The global energy-environment conundrum unfolds now with more and more evidence confirming the climate change hypothesis. The accumulation of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere is strongly linked with economic production, the GDP indicator. Here we give the exact relationships between GDP, energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions, over time and cross-sectionally for the entire globe. The intermediating link between total GDP and total emissions is, it must be emphasized, the energy consumption, which has increased dramatically since 1970. It is true that the energy consumption per GDP unit has fallen, but the increase in GDP is more than enough to guarantee that energy consumption per capita continues to rise.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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