Drivers are forces that serve to satisfy needs. In the context of climate change, society's orientation to create economic growth and expand human well-being lead to the production of pressures that cause climate change. In general, drivers are the elements that directly or indirectly contribute to GHG emissions. There is neither a unique method to identify the drivers of climate change; therefore, the term, ‘driver’ may not represent an exact causality but is used to indicate an association to provide insights on what constitutes overall changes in global GHG emissions (IPCC). .
Climate drivers of significance over the industrial era include both those associated with anthropogenic activity and, to a lesser extent, those of natural origin. The only significant natural climate drivers in the industrial era are changes in solar irradiance, volcanic eruptions, and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Earth’s climate is undergoing substantial change due to anthropogenic activities. IPCC recognizes various factors as main drivers to GHG emissions including consumption, international trade, population growth, economic growth, structural change to a service economy, and energy consumption.