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Growth versus the Environment - Is There a Trade-off?

Kågeson, Per LU (1997)
Abstract
This book shows that the intensity of use of energy and materials in OECD countries is diminishing over time despite falling metal and energy prices. Material demand is sometimes falling in absolute terms, but there are also a few examples of rapid growth.



The supply of fossil fuels and minerals is being exhausted, in some cases at a rapid speed, but the question addressed here is whether the rate of depletion is so fast that there will not be time for technical progress to create adequate substitutes. Overall, this appears not to be the case. The two main industrial metals are very abundant, and most minor metals already have substitutes for many of their applications. A few metals can be expected to become very scarce,... (More)
This book shows that the intensity of use of energy and materials in OECD countries is diminishing over time despite falling metal and energy prices. Material demand is sometimes falling in absolute terms, but there are also a few examples of rapid growth.



The supply of fossil fuels and minerals is being exhausted, in some cases at a rapid speed, but the question addressed here is whether the rate of depletion is so fast that there will not be time for technical progress to create adequate substitutes. Overall, this appears not to be the case. The two main industrial metals are very abundant, and most minor metals already have substitutes for many of their applications. A few metals can be expected to become very scarce, but much of the large quantities of them currently in the technosphere could be recycled.



Developments in OECD Europe over the last 25 years have resulted in relative or absolute delinking between economic growth and environmental damage. On the other hand, it is uncertain whether continuing economic development along these lines will in all cases lead to the achievement of sustainable development, even whithin 25-30 years. Indeed, this study identifies some examples where slower GDP growth would have resulted in less damage (eg. household waste and emissions of CO2 and NOx, and possibly the depletion of fish stocks and the negative impact of forestry and agriculture on biodiversity). (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Prof Arrhenius, Erik, Dept. of Natural Sciences, Kalmar University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
emissions reduction, material intensity, pollution control, sustainable development, resource depletion, environment, economic growth, energy, Environmental technology, Miljöteknik, kontroll av utsläpp
pages
341 pages
publisher
Department of Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund university
defense location
Inst för fysik, Sal B
defense date
1997-05-29 13:15
external identifiers
  • Other:ISRN LUTFD2/TFEM--97/1014--SE+(1-341)
ISBN
91-88360-33-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dc277c63-3706-4db3-aea0-3d910c90d69d (old id 18305)
date added to LUP
2007-05-24 10:54:08
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:06
@misc{dc277c63-3706-4db3-aea0-3d910c90d69d,
  abstract     = {This book shows that the intensity of use of energy and materials in OECD countries is diminishing over time despite falling metal and energy prices. Material demand is sometimes falling in absolute terms, but there are also a few examples of rapid growth.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The supply of fossil fuels and minerals is being exhausted, in some cases at a rapid speed, but the question addressed here is whether the rate of depletion is so fast that there will not be time for technical progress to create adequate substitutes. Overall, this appears not to be the case. The two main industrial metals are very abundant, and most minor metals already have substitutes for many of their applications. A few metals can be expected to become very scarce, but much of the large quantities of them currently in the technosphere could be recycled.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Developments in OECD Europe over the last 25 years have resulted in relative or absolute delinking between economic growth and environmental damage. On the other hand, it is uncertain whether continuing economic development along these lines will in all cases lead to the achievement of sustainable development, even whithin 25-30 years. Indeed, this study identifies some examples where slower GDP growth would have resulted in less damage (eg. household waste and emissions of CO2 and NOx, and possibly the depletion of fish stocks and the negative impact of forestry and agriculture on biodiversity).},
  author       = {Kågeson, Per},
  isbn         = {91-88360-33-4},
  keyword      = {emissions reduction,material intensity,pollution control,sustainable development,resource depletion,environment,economic growth,energy,Environmental technology,Miljöteknik,kontroll av utsläpp},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {341},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xd85f3a8)},
  title        = {Growth versus the Environment - Is There a Trade-off?},
  year         = {1997},
}