The Role of Energy in Development

Philip J. Lloyd

Abstract


Abstract
Using World Bank Development Indicators, it is shown that the use of energy is strongly related to almost every conceivable aspect of development. Wealth, health, nutrition, water, infrastructure, education, even life expectancy itself, are strongly and significantly related to the consumption of energy per capita. In general, the approach taken was to break the consumption of energy into three or more classes, to calculate the average value of the relevant indicator in each class, and to demonstrate that the average value in one class was statistically different, at above the 95% confidence level, from the average in adjacent classes. In the case of life expectancy, the change in expectancy was tracked against energy consumption over 40 or more years, in India, China, Indonesia and Brazil. It is concluded that energy is such a necessary element in development that it should be seen as a basic right. The impact of energy on development is felt strongly up to about 2 000 kg oil equivalent per capita, and is essentially saturated above that level. The data are qualitatively assessed using the environmental Kuznets curve. The OECD nations appear to have peaked, and emissions may continue to drop for the foreseeable future. However, emissions from the non-OECD nations have surged in this millennium, and are likely to exceed 40 000 Mt CO2 per annum before slowing. In this light, the intent of the Paris Agreement to constrain global temperature rise to less than 1.5 °C, seems unrealistic. Any hopes of reducing carbon dioxide emissions significantly, in the face of development by the developing nations, seems doomed to failure.

Keywords: development, World Bank Indicators, life expectancy, future emissions


Highlights
•    Many development indicators are strongly related to the per-capita energy consumption.
•    The impacts of increasing energy on development continues up to about 2000 kg oil equivalent per capita per year.
•    Over the past 50 years, increases in per-capita energy consumption correlate strongly with increases in life expectancy.
•    If all developing nations strive for 2000 kg per capita per year energy consumption, CO2 emissions will continue to rise.


Keywords


Development; World Bank Indicators; Life expectancy; Future emissions

Full Text:

PDF

References


Government of India. 2015. India’s intended nationally determined contribution: Working towards climate justice. Available online at: http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/India/1/INDIA%20INDC%20TO%20UNFCCC.pdf. Accessed August 2016.

Peters, G.P., Weber, C.L., Guan, D. and Hubacek, K. 2007. China’s growing CO2 emissions - A race between increasing consumption and efficiency gains. Environmental Science & Technology 41 (17): 5939-5944. DOI: 10.1021/es070108f.

Minx, J.C., Baiocchi, G., Peters, G.P., Weber, C.L., Guan, D. and Hubacek, K. A. 2011. ‘Carbonizing dragon’: China’s fast growing CO2 emissions revisited. Environmental Science & Technology 45 (21): 9144–9153. DOI: 10.1021/es201497m.

Bosettia, V., Carrarob, C. and Tavoni, M. 2009 Climate change mitigation strategies in fast-growing countries: The benefits of early action. Energy Economics 31 (Supplement 2): S144–S151 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2009.06.011.

World Summit on Sustainable Development. 2002. Declaration. WSSD Johannesburg.

World Commission on Environmental Development. 1987. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future. WCED, New York.

Stern, D.I., Common, M.S and Barbier, E.B. 1996. Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development. World Development 24 (7):1151–1160.

Panayatou, T. 2016. Economic growth and the environment. In Haenn,N., Harnish, A. and Wilk, R. (eds). The environment in anthropology (Second Edition), NYU Press, 140-148.

World Bank, 2016. World Development Indicators, June 2016. Excel spreadsheet, World Bank, Washington, D.C. Available online at http://data. worldbank.org/products/wdi. Accessed July 2016.

United Nations, 2010. Resolution 64/292. The human right to water and sanitation. UN General Assembly, New York, 108th Plenary Meeting, 28 July 2010. Available online at http://www.un.org/es/comun/docs/?symbol=A/RES/64/292〈=E. Accessed September 2016.

Wikipedia. 2016. List of countries by road network size. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_ by_road_network_size Accessed September 2016.

The Guardian, 2016. Sweden leads the race to become a cashless society. Available online at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/04/sweden-cashless-society-cards-phone-apps-leading-europe. Accessed September 2016.

Sachs, J.D and Warner, A.M. 2001. The curse of natural resources. European Economic Review 45: 827–838.

La Commare, K.H. and Eto, J.H. 2006. Cost of power interruptions to electricity consumers in the United States. Energy 31(12): 1845–1858.

Personal communication, R Jeffrey, Econometrix, September 2016.

BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy. BP Ltd https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review-2016/bp-statistical-review-of-world-energy-2016-full-report.pdf.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3051/2017/v28i1a1498

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Philip John Lloyd

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.