Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
The contribution of population growth between 2000 and 2018 remained roughly identical to the previous three decades, while the contribution of economic growth has risen sharply.
One of the more critical yet unknown factors that will determine the extent of global climate change over the next century is the rate of economic growth. "The probability of a very high economic growth scenario is much larger than many climate scientists have anticipated … That is a worrying finding." Source
In high-income countries, the material footprint per capita – the amount of primary materials needed to meet our needs -- is more than 10 times larger than in low-income countries. And the Group of 20 major economies (G20) accounts for 78% of global greenhouse gas emissions. (UN Act Now)
Credit: Blickwinkel / Alamy