Decoupling between human development and energy consumption within footprint accounts
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Author/sAkizu-Gardoki, Ortzi; Bueno, Gorka; Wiedmann, Thomas; Lopez-Guede, Jose Manuel; Arto, Iñaki; [et al.]
Consumption based accounts
Sustainable Development Goals
Historically, the growth of energy consumption has fuelled human development, but this approach is no longer socially and environmentally sustainable. Recent analyses suggest that some individual countries have responded to this issue successfully by decoupling Total Primary Energy Supply from human development increase. However, globalisation and international trade have allowed high-income countries to outsource industrial production to lower income countries, thereby increasingly relying on foreign energy use to satisfy their own consumption of goods and services. Accounting for the import of embodied energy in goods and services, this study proposes an alternative estimation of the Decoupling Index based on the Total Primary Energy Footprint rather than Total Primary Energy Supply. An analysis of 126 countries over the years 2000–2014 demonstrates that previous studies based on energy supply highly overestimated decoupling. Footprint-based results, on the other hand, show an overall ...