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Urbanization, energy consumption and climate change

Leiwen Jiang, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Existing projections of energy consumption and climate changes typically do not explicitly consider the impact of urbanization which is one of the most prominent global demographic trends in the coming decades. How serious a shortcoming this may be remains an open question given the scarcity of research on the links between urbanization and energy use. A few researches of the impact of urbanization on energy use suffer a number of problems including do not consider the different patterns of urbanization and the effect of collinearity involving other variables, such as economic growth, industrialization. Based on data of 183 countries/regions of the world for the period of 1950-2005, this research statistically identifies three major types of urbanizations, according to its relationships with industrialization and economic growth. The research explores the net effect of urban population growth under various urbanization processes, provides useful information for developing scenarios of future climate change.

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Presented in Session 97: Population distribution processes and environmental change