Governments around the world are actively exploring strategies to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. In addition to technological progress, promoting a transformation of residents’ behaviors to a low carbon mode is also a solution. Many people are concerned about how to reduce carbon emissions while ensuring human well-being. Starting from the comparative analysis of two main theories of human well-being, this paper sorted out existing well-being measurement methods from the perspectives of “top-down” and “bottom-up” and further sorted out research on the relationship between human well-being and energy carbon emissions. While “top-down” research is conducive to the layout of macro policies, “bottom-up” research can better help to promote the transformation of society to a low carbon life by estimating the energy consumption and carbon emissions contained in human needs. Current research discusses human well-being, human needs, energy use and carbon emissions, respectively, but they are not systematically integrated. Furthermore, this paper proposes a framework combining these aspects to analyze the relationship between human well-being and carbon emissions. In addition, this paper suggests future research directions.
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