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Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3430-3440; doi:10.3390/su7033430

Resource Demand Growth and Sustainability Due to Increased World Consumption

1
Nordita, Roslagstullsbacken 23, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Institute for Materials Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
3
Nanostructure Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Present Address: Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, 1 CREATE Way, #09-02, Create Tower, 138602 Singapore;
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 7 November 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2438 KB, uploaded 20 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

The paper aims at continuing the discussion on sustainability and attempts to forecast the impossibility of the expanding consumption worldwide due to the planet’s limited resources. As the population of China, India and other developing countries continue to increase, they would also require more natural and financial resources to sustain their growth. We coarsely estimate the volumes of these resources (energy, food, freshwater) and the gross domestic product (GDP) that would need to be achieved to bring the population of India and China to the current levels of consumption in the United States. We also provide estimations for potentially needed immediate growth of the world resource consumption to meet this equality requirement. Given the tight historical correlation between GDP and energy consumption, the needed increase of GDP per capita in the developing world to the levels of the U.S. would deplete explored fossil fuel reserves in less than two decades. These estimates predict that the world economy would need to find a development model where growth would be achieved without heavy dependence on fossil fuels. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable economic development; energy consumption; developing world sustainable economic development; energy consumption; developing world
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Balatsky, A.V.; Balatsky, G.I.; Borysov, S.S. Resource Demand Growth and Sustainability Due to Increased World Consumption. Sustainability 2015, 7, 3430-3440.

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