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Age-Structure, Urbanization, and Climate Change in Developed Countries: Revisiting STIRPAT for Disaggregated Population and Consumption-Related Environmental Impacts

Liddle, Brantley and Lung, Sidney (2010): Age-Structure, Urbanization, and Climate Change in Developed Countries: Revisiting STIRPAT for Disaggregated Population and Consumption-Related Environmental Impacts. Published in: Population and Environment , Vol. 31, No. 5 (2010): pp. 317-343.

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Abstract

We focus on three environmental impacts particularly influenced by population age-structure—carbon emissions from transport and residential energy and electricity consumption—as well as aggregate carbon emissions for a panel of developed countries, and take as our starting point the STIRPAT framework. Among our contributions is to further disaggregate population into three particularly key age groups: 20-34, 35-49, and 50-64, and by doing so demonstrate that population’s environmental impact differs considerably across age-groups, with the older age-groups (ones typically associated with larger households) actually exerting a negative influence. Furthermore, those age-specific population influences are different (in absolute and relative terms) for the different environmental impacts we analyze. Also, we find that urbanization, in developed countries, best measures access to a country’s power grid, and thus, is positively associated with energy consumption in the residential sector. Lastly, we suggest some modelling and methodological improvements to the STIRPAT framework.

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