BRIC and MINT countries' environmental impacts rising despite alleviative consumption patterns.

Affiliation

Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey) shifted the economic weight from developed to emerging countries. They will continue to grow rapidly by population and gross domestic product (GDP), which could also imply environmental changes. We use the environmentally extended multi-regional input-output database EXIOBASE in a consumption-based approach to assess carbon, land, and water footprints of four income groups within each of these emerging economies in 2050 compared to our base year 2010. We estimate that consumption changes make environmental impacts increase by a factor of 1.6 (for Russia's water footprint) to a factor of 7.0 (for Nigeria's carbon footprint). This rise is mostly driven by GDP growth, but often also by population growth. Changes in consumption patterns due to income growth, however, attenuate the effect. The attenuation appeared to be much stronger for water (for India and Indonesia over 50%) than for land or carbon footprints. It is hence important that forward-looking modelling exercises account for different income categories and related expenditure patterns. The results further indicate how much our technologies must improve to compensate for impact increases induced by rising consumption. To cope with that, not only established economies, but also some BRIC and MINT countries, especially Russia and China, must increase their efforts towards environmental sustainability.

Keywords

Climate change,Demand-side projections,Household consumption,Land degradation,Multi-regional input-output analysis,Water scarcity,

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