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Resource Demand Growth and Sustainability Due to Increased World Consumption

Nordita, Roslagstullsbacken 23, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Institute for Materials Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
Nanostructure Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, 1 CREATE Way, #09-02, Create Tower, 138602 Singapore;
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3430-3440;
Received: 7 November 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 20 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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
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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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