Greenhouse gas emissions and the energy system: Are current trends sustainable?
This paper discusses whether recent energy trends are compatible with the requirements of sustainable development. For this purpose, using decomposition analysis, we derive a few long-term sustainability conditions for the energy system and examine whether they are satisfied on the basis of the currently available data. It emerges that an Environmental Kuznets Curve in energy intensity and/or carbon intensity is insufficient to satisfy the sustainability conditions identified in the paper. Moreover, using simple graphical analysis, we show that the decomposition approach and the EKC imply two different relationships between per capita income and carbon intensity and discuss the relative implications.
Keywords: sustainable development, energy trends, global warming, EKC, environmental Kuznets curve, decomposition analysis, Kaya identity, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions, sustainability, carbon intensity