Population growth and global CO2 emissions: A secular perspective

Tom Knapp, Rajen Mookerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Considerable scientific effort has been applied to the question of whether worldwide fossil fuel combustion and the resultant emission of CO2 (as well as emissions of other greenhouse gases) will cause a discernible enhancement of the greenhouse effect in the next century. A more precise understanding of the contribution of human activity to potential global warming (vis-à-vis natural climatic variability) is of critical policy interest. Surprisingly little research has been devoted to establishing the underlying statistical relationship between human activities and CO2 emissions. In this paper, we explore the nature of the relationship between global population growth and CO2 emissions by employing the test of causality developed by Granger on annual data for 1880-1989, as well as more comprehensive error correction and cointegration models. The results suggest a lack of a long-term equilibrium relationship, but imply a short-term dynamic relationship from CO2 to population growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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