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Your Environment. Your Health.

Human development in a climate-constrained world: What the past says about the future

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

Author(s):   Lamb WF, Rao ND
Year:   2015
Journal:   Global Environmental Change. 33: 14-22



Energy consumption is necessary for the delivery of human development by supporting access to basic needs, services and infrastructure. Given prevailing technologies and the high degree of inertia in practical rates of decarbonisation, growth in energy consumption from rising global living standards may drive consequent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In this paper the 'development as usual' GHG emissions impact of achieving high levels of life expectancy, access to basic needs and continued economic growth are projected to the mid-century using historical elasticities of development and energy consumption in 3 regions - Africa, Centrally Planned Asia, and South Asia. The results suggest that long life expectancy and high levels of access to basic needs are achievable at lower levels of emissions than continued economic growth, but will consume a substantial share of the global budget associated with a 2 degrees C climate goal. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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