Research press release


Nature Climate Change

The carbon intensity of human well-being



今回、Andrew Jorgensonは、世界106か国における1970~2009年の人間の幸福の炭素集約度(CIWB)、つまり、1人当たりの人為起源の二酸化炭素排出量(この研究では、化石燃料の燃焼量とセメント生産量から算出された)と出生時平均余命の比率を算定した。この研究では、地域的サンプルに含まれる国々をグループ分けし、各グループにおける経済発展(1人当たり国内総生産で表される)のCIWBに対する影響の経時的変化の推定が行われた。研究対象期間の初期には、アフリカ諸国で経済発展が進むとCIWBが低下するという関係が見られたが、最近の数十年間は、この関係の持続可能性が低下した。アジアと中南米の諸国では、経済発展によってCIWBが上昇し、その傾向は、研究対象期間を通じて、だんだんと顕著になった。北米、ヨーロッパとオセアニアの諸国でも、経済発展によってCIWBが上昇し、その影響は他の地域より大きく、経時的に安定していた。社会が化石燃料に依存し続けるかぎり、生活の状態が向上すれば、全世界で炭素排出量が増加するとJorgensonは結論づけている。

Growing economies across the world have seen the average life expectancy at birth rising since 1970, but at a significant cost to the environment, reports research published this week in Nature Climate Change.

Past research has confirmed that economic development improves the quality of life. However, as economies rely mainly on fossil fuels, improved life conditions lead to rising carbon emissions. Many studies have looked at the association between development and emissions but very few have analysed the dynamic relationship between development, human well-being and emissions, over time and across different world regions.

Andrew Jorgenson calculates the carbon intensity of human well-being (CIWB) - the ratio between per capita anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions (in his study, derived from fossil fuel combustion and cement manufacturing) and average life expectancy at birth - for 106 countries over the period 1970-2009. He groups the countries in regional samples and estimates how the effect of economic development (measured by gross domestic product per capita) on CIWB has changed over the period in each group. He finds that, early in the period of study, increased development led to a reduction in CIWB for nations in Africa, but in recent decades the relationship has become less sustainable. For nations in Asia and South and Central America, development raises CIWB, and increasingly so over the period of study. The effect of development on CIWB for nations in the combined regions of North America, Europe and Oceania has been positive, larger than in other regions, and stable over time. The author concludes that as long as societies rely on fossil fuels, achieving better life conditions will drive up carbon emissions worldwide.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2110


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