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Increased ecoefficiency and gross rebound effect: Evidence from USA and six European countries 1960–2002


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Despite increased efficiency in the use of natural resources, the use of these resources continues to increase in most societies. This paper examines the discrepancy between the potential decrease of use of natural resources, as an effect of increased efficiency, and actual use. During the period 1960–2002, this difference was found to grow faster in the USA than the mean for six West European countries. Possible reasons for this difference between the two regions are analysed. To reduce the anthropogenic flows of energy and material, and the consequent deleterious effects on the biosphere, it will become necessary to adapt consumption to degree of efficiency in the use of natural resources. Based on the comparison between the two regions, some economic aspects of this issue are discussed.
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Increased ecoefficiency and gross rebound effect: Evidence
from USA and six European countries 19602002
Stig-Olof Holm, Göran Englund
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, S-90187 Umeå, Sweden
Article history:
Received 24 January 2008
Received in revised form 9 June 2008
Accepted 10 July 2008
Available online 15 August 2008
Despite increased efficiency in the use of natural resources, the use of these resources
continues to increase in most societies. This paper examines the discrepancy between the
potential decrease of use of natural resources, as an effect of increased efficiency, and actual
use. During the period 19602002, this difference was found to grow faster in the USA than the
mean for six West European countries. Possible reasons for this difference between the two
regions are analysed. To reduce the anthropogenic flows of energy and material, and the
consequent deleterious effects on the biosphere, it will become necessary to adapt
consumption to degree of efficiency in the use of natural resources. Based on the comparison
between the two regions, some economic aspects of this issue are discussed.
© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ecological footprint
Economic growth
Global change
Environmental Kuznets Curve
Gross rebound effect
1. Introduction
Globally, human use of natural resources has steadily in-
creased. Over the last 200 years, most use patterns can be re-
presented by J-shaped curves (Cohen, 1995; Noble and Dirzo,
1997; McNeill, 2000; Gleick, 2000; Tilman et al., 2001; Hails
et al., 2006). By the late 20th century, people had affected about
50% of the entire global land area (Hannah et al., 1994) and
were using, directly and indirectly, about 38% of the yearly
biomass production in terrestrial ecosystems (Vitousek et al.,
1986; Vitousek, 1994; Vitousek et al., 1997). The increasing
mobilization of natural resources by human society is a threat
to global biodiversity and to future supplies (Laurance, 2001;
IUCN, 2002; UNEP, 2002).
At the beginning of the industrial expansion it was debated
whether or not it was possible to stabilise the use of natural
resources through increased efficiency. For example William
Jevons stated: an increase in efficiency in using a resource
leads, in the medium to long term, to an increased usage of
that resource rather than to a reduction in this use(Jevons,
1865). This contention has been called the Jevons paradox.
After the Second World War, the debate focused more on
increased economic growth. The technology factorwas
considered pivotal for managing production increases, and
limits to expansion were taken off the economics agenda
(Friman, 2002). In the late 20th century, as a consequence of
the environmental debate, ways to decouple material mobi-
lization from economic growth were hypothesized. One of
these hypotheses, called the environmental Kuznets curve
(EKC), predicts a hump shaped relationship between degree of
material flow, following environmental impact, and GDP/ca-
pita. (Stern et al., 1996; Cavlovic et al., 2000; Gawande et al.,
2001). In some cases, this hypothesis accurately describes
reality. For example, the consumption of phosphate rock and
crude steel decreased in many European countries during the
period 19701990 as GDP/capita increased (Kågeson, 1997). In
Corresponding author. Tel.: +46 90 786 55 46; fax: +46 90 786 76 64.
E-mail address: (S.-O. Holm).
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available at
other cases, especially at the global level, the material flow
continuesto increase with increasing GDP/capita, eg., emissions
of carbon dioxide and use of energy, forest products, fish, and
cement (Loh et al., 1998; Hails et al., 2006; IEA, 2003).
Typically, the material flow per unit of product or service
created tends to decrease with increasing GDP/capita (Kåge-
son, 1997). However, this decouplingeffect is often not
strong enough to curb the total anthropogenic flow of
materials, because total consumption continues to increase
as a result of the consumption of more units. The two
phenomena have been named respectively, relativeand
absolutedecoupling (Spangenberg, 1995). In a situation
where only a relativeand not an absolutedecoupling
occur, resource depletion and consequent destruction of
ecosystems continues.
The gap between the decreased use of resources that is
expected from increased eco-efficiencyand the actual uti-
lisation has been called the gross rebound effect(GRB)
(Vehmas et al., 2004). One example of a GRB is that although
efficiency in the usage of energy per unit of product or service
in the OECD-countries improved by about 30% between 1970
and 1991 (Schipper et al., 1997), there was no corresponding
decrease in energy use. In fact, the use of energy in these
countries increased by about 20% (IEA, 1996). Another
example is that when global energy efficiency increased by
2% per year between 1973 and 1990, consumption during the
same period increased by 2.7% per year, resulting in a yearly
net increase of energy flow of 0.7% (Sun, 1998). A third ex-
ample is that since the mid 19th century, the amount of
carbon used per unit of production has decreased by 1.3% per
year although carbon dioxide emissions have risen about
1.7% per year (Kates, 1994).
Note that the definition of the term rebound effectis
sometimes limited to the increase of consumption of a pro-
duct that occurs when increased production efficiency results
in a decreased price. This effect is often relatively small,
typically amounting to a few percent of the effect of increased
efficiency (Greening et al., 2000; Berkhout et al., 2000). The
GRB is more close ly related to the KhazzomBrooks postulate,
which suggests that energy efficiency improvements at the
micro level lead to increased economic growth and thus
higher energy use at the macro level (Herring, 1998). However,
the gross rebound effectis a broader concept, applicable not
only to energy use, but also to other issues, such as the net
effect of societies overall resource use/environmental im-
pact due to consumption patterns, population development
and degree of eco-efficiency (Jokinen et al., 1998; Malaska
et al. 1999). These concepts can be formalized using the
Holdren/Erlich equation I=PAT,whereIrepresents environ-
mental impact, Pis population size, Ais affluence per capita
and Tis the effect of technology (Ehrlich and Holdren, 1971).
This model illustrates that resource use (I)willcontinueto
grow if the effects of increased efficiency (reduced T)isout-
weighed by increased population size (P) and/or affluence per
capita (A).
Some limitations of the IPAT approach have been pointed
out. The equation does for example not include the fact that
the life style of individuals and groups may be more or less
harmful to the environment. A factor describing behaviour (B)
have therefore been added, creating I=PBAT (Schulze, 2002).
Non-proportional effects and elasticity coefficients have also
been included into the model (for a review of different variants
of the IPAT equation, see e.g. Fan et al., 2006). However, even if
numerous sub-factors influence the P,Aand T, and various
degrees of elasticity between a certain kind of environmental
impact and the three explaining variables may exist, the IPAT
equation can be considered as a basis for a description of
human impact on the ecosystems.
The main objective of this study is to identify possible
approaches to overcome the GRB. Three different analyses are
presented. First we analyze the relationship between GDP/
capita and the global environment footprint per capita for 135
countries as a test of the EKC hypothesis at a global scale.
For the second analysis we selected two regions with si-
milar material wealth, but with differences in impact/capita
on the global environment. The two regions are (1) the USA
and (2) a group of six West European countries: the United
Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. For
these regions the IPAT equation is used to describe the con-
tribution of population size, affluence and technology (P,A,
and T) to the observed difference in environmental impact
during the period 19602002. Total energy use is used as a
proxy for the total environmental impact (I), affluence (A)is
defined as GDP/capita, and technology (T) is defined as the
ecoefficiency(energy use/GDP). This analysis is also used to
examine the development of the gross rebound effect in the
two regions. Our hypothesis is that a larger gross rebound
effect will be found in the society having the largest environ-
mental impact.
The IPAT analysis indicates that the energy use per capita is
a key to understanding differences between the two regions.
Thus we also perform a more detailed analysis of the
relationship between energy use/capita and 10 descriptors of
society's structure that are expected to correlate with energy
use per capita. The objective is to identify factors that a policy
aimed at reducing environmental impacts should target.
Although the IPAT approach may be useful for devising
strategies for a more sustainable resource use, it is of little
Fig. 1 The relationship between global ecological footprint
per person and GDP per person for 135 countries 2001. GDP is
given in current international dollars re-calculated as
purchasing power parity (PPP). Sources: Loh and
Wackernagel (2004) and WRI (2006).
880 ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 68 (2009) 879887
guidance for determining sustainable levels of resource use.
Therefore we end the paper with a discussion of a two step
solution that involves the identification of sustainable levels
of anthropogenic energy and material flows, and the imple-
mentation of measures to reach those levels.
2. The connection between economic activity
and material mobilization at a global scale
The ecological footprint is an accounting framework which
tracks energy and resource throughput by people and
translates it into the area of biologically productive land
necessary to produce such resource flows, and to absorb
resulting pollution (Wackernagel et al., 2000). Fig. 1 shows
the relationship between the ecological footprint per
capita and GDP/capita in the year 2001 for 135 countries.
There are many countries with a small ecological foot-
print/capita and low GDP/capita and a few with a large
footprint per capita and a large GDP/capita. To test
whether the relationship is non-linear, we fitted the data
to a power model of the form y=ax
where yis global
ecological footprint/capita and xis GDP/capita. The linear
form, ln y=a+bln x, was used to avoid problems with
heteroscedasticity. Both coefficients were significant and b
was significantly smaller than one (estimate+ CI 95%:
a=0.0137± 0.0059, b=0.58± 0.050), which suggests that the
ecological footprint/capita increases at a decelerating rate
with increasing GDP/capita. Including a quadratic term
Fig. 2 Energy use (solid lines) and an index based on energy
used per GDP (dashed lines) 19602002. The index illustrates
the energy consumption expected if only affected by
decreasing energy use per GDP. Data for Europe are mean
values for six countries; France, Germany, Italy, the United
Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland. Source: IEA (2006).
Fig. 3 Total energy use and indices illustrating the effects of changes in population size and energy use per capita on total
energy use 19602002 for A) the USA and B) six European countries. C) and D) show corresponding indices for GDP per capita,
energy use per capita, and the energy used per GDP. Source: IEA (2006).
881ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 68 (2009) 879887
produced a significant positive coefficient (t=4.2, pb0.001)
rather than the negative one expected on the basis of the
EKC hypothesis. Thus we conclude that the ecological
footprint does not decrease at high GDP/capita. Next we
show that similar patterns are found if instead time series
of economic growth and anthropogenic material flow are
3. Analyzing patterns of resource use in
Western Europe and the USA
USA and Western Europe have similar population sizes, si-
milar climate and other out of nature given premises, and the
cultures are, compared with many other regions, very similar.
Both regions have high GDP/capita but the global material
flow/capita is much higher in the USA. To obtain a more
detailed understanding of this difference, we used the IPAT
equation to analyze how changes in population size (P), af-
fluence per capita (A) and degree of efficiency (T) have shaped
the environmental impact (I) in the two regions during the
period 19602002. As representative data for Western Europe
we used mean values for France, the United Kingdom, Italy,
Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The environmental impact (I) could not be measured as an
ecological footprint because detailed temporal data are
lacking. Instead we used energy use, which is strongly cor-
related with the ecological footprint (Hails et al., 2006). Pin the
IPAT equation was represented by population size, Aby the
GDP/capita, and Tby the energy use/GDP (data given in Ap-
pendix A). To obtain a decomposable index we standardized
P, A and T by their values in 1960. Each variable were then
multiplied by the energy use in 1960, in order to illustrate
the role of initial differences in energy use. The resulting
indices, which have the unit exajoule, describes the effect of
each component (P,A, and T) on energy use. For example the
dotted lines in Fig. 2 show how energy use would have
changed due to changes in ecoefficiency (T) if P and A had
remained constant.
We first compare the actual energy use (I) with the scaled
index of ecoefficiency (T) (Fig. 2). Energy use in the USA
was higher in 1960 and increased faster during the period
19602002 than in the six European countries. The ecoeffi-
ciency index (dotted line in Fig. 2) shows that the increase in
energy efficiency at the society level was greater in the USA
than in Europe. We can also see that the increased efficiency
was not sufficiently great in either region to off-set the ef-
fect of changes in population size and affluence.
Next we break down the total energy use into effect of
population size (P) and effect of energy use per capita (AT)
(Fig. 3, A, B). The effect on total energy use caused by changes
in energy use per capita is similar in the two regions, whereas
the effect of change in population size is much larger in the
USA. A further decomposition of the effect of changes in
energy use per capita into A(GDP/capita) and T(ecoefficiency
measured as energy/GDP) shows that the USA had a larger
increase in GDP/capita that was balanced by greater improve-
ments in ecoefficiency (Fig. 3C,D). Thus we can conclude that
energy use grew faster in the USA due to faster population
The analysis above concerns differences in the growth of
energy use between the two regions. However, since the ab-
solute energy use is approximately t wice as high in the USA, it
is informative to analyze absolute differences between the
two regions. A comparison of absolute population size and
per capita energy use (Fig. 4A,B) shows that it is greater per
capita consumption rather than a larger population size that
causes higher total energy use in the USA. The per capita
energy use in the USA was three times as high in 1960 and
twice as high in 2002 compared to Western Europe (Fig. 4A).
Thus it is pertinent to ask which descriptors of society's
structure are associated with a high per capita consumption
rate. Such associations were investigated using PLS regres-
sion (Martens and Naess, 1989), a method that combines
ordination and regression. An ordination of the matrix of
predictor variables is constructed, such that the covariance
between the ordination axis and the dependent variable is
maximized. Orthogonal ordination axes are used as predic-
tors, which means that PLS regression, in contrast to ordinary
least squares regression, is robust against collinearity among
the independent variables. The energy use per capita in the
USA and each of the six European countries for each of the
years 19662002 was used as the dependent variable. As
predictors we used 10 variables that are hypothesized to
Fig. 4 A) Energy use per capita during 19602002 for the USA
and for six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, the
United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland). B) Population in
the USA and in the six European countries during the period.
Source: IEA (2006).
882 ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 68 (2009) 879887
indicate energy use. One group of variables are expected to be
correlated with energy use in the transport sector, i.e., price of
gasoline, tax on gasoline, the number of vehicles per capita,
and population density (see, e.g. Schipper et al., 1997;
Carlsson-Kanyama and Lidén, 1999; Bottrill, 2006). Population
density may also influence energy use through other
mechanisms (Weisz et al., 2006). A second group of variables
are included as indicators of a post industrial information
society, which according to the EKC hypothesis should be
characterized by high technological level and de-
materialization of the economy (see, e.g. Jänicke et al., 1989;
Picton and Daniels, 1999, Hinterberger and Schmidt-Bleek,
1999). This group includes: the proportion of GDP that can be
attribute d to the service sector, the nu mber of TVs/capita, and
the proportion of energy produced by wind, geothermal,
solar, wood, and waste. Inclusion of the latter variable was
motivated by the hypothesis that societies which put an effort
tousemoreofalternativeenergy also pay attention to the
importance of decreasing total energy use. We also included
the proportion of the national energy supply that is con-
sumed as a measure of efficiency of the energy system. A low
efficiency (consumptionbsupply) may be caused by losses
during transport of electricity, heat loss due to cooling of
nuclear power plants, etc. Finally we included two variables
which generally affect society's economy, the world market
price of oil and the amount of household saving. The latter
variable was used based on the assumption that a more direct
purchasing of products and services instead of saving money
indicates a higher rate of energy use. The PLS analysis pro-
duced one significant component that explained 83.1% of
the variation in the energy use per capita between years and
countries (Q
=0.83, pb0.05, significance tested with cross
validation (Wold, 1978)). Fig. 5 shows that high tax on fuel and
a high gasoline price were negatively associated with energy
use. Weaker ne gative relationship s were found for populatio n
density, household savings, and national energy consump-
tion in relation to energy supply. The strongest positive
relationships were found for number of vehicles per capita,
energy use per GDP and the number of TV sets per capita. A
weaker positive relationship was found for the proportion of
GDP derived from the service sector of the economy. The
effect of world oil price changes between 1973 and 1979 that
can be seen in Fig. 2 showed no apparent relationship to the
overall variation in per capita consumption. This is also true
for the proportion of total energy consumption derived from
renewable so urces, such as wind, solar , waste and biomass. In
an alternative analysis we added a dummy variable as an
additional predictor, contrasting the USA and the six Eur-
opean countries (first component: Q
=0.88, 88.5% of variance
in energy/capita explained). The dummy variable showed the
strongest correlation with energy use but the rank order of
the other variables was unchanged. This illustrates that the
PLS analyses mainly reflected differences between the two
4. Discussion
This study indicates that improved efficiency in the use of
natural resources is insufficient to prevent further increases in
global resource use. The ecological footprint across 135
countries did not decrease at high levels of GDP per capita,
and the energy use in the USA and six European countries
during the period 19602002 did not decrease as GDP/capita
increased. The existence of an environmental Kuznets curve is
therefore not supported. Instead a rebound effect may occur;
the improved ecoefficiency, which is seen in many wealthy
countries, (e.g., Jänicke et al., 1989), is associated with eco-
nomic growth which increases the global ecological footprints
of these countries. One example of this apparent paradox is
that Finland, a wealthy and ecoefficient country has been
classified as both the most sustainable country (Devitt and
DeFusco, 2002) and the country that caused the fifth largest
per capita footprint in the world (Loh, 2002).
The USA appears to have departed from the stabilization of
its ecological footprint more rapidly than the West European
countries studied, mainly due to a higher population growth
rate. Both a higher birth rate and greater net migration con-
tribute to this pattern (WRI, 2006).
In addition to faster growth in energy use in the USA, there
was a higher absolute level of energy use during the study
period. This difference could be ascribed to higher energy use
per capita in the USA. Since the PLS-analysis of energy per
capita largely reflected differences between the USA and the
six European countries it can be used to obtain insights into
the mechanisms underlying this pattern. High correlations
between per capita energy use and the price of gasoline, tax on
gasoline, and the number of vehicles per capita, point to the
importance of the transport sector. Taxes on gasoline were
two to three times higher in the Western European countries
than in the USA during the study period (IEA, 2002), and the
transport energy consumption per capita between 1970 and
1990 was about twice as high in the USA compared to Western
Fig. 5 Loadings from a PLS regression analysis using per
capita energy use in the USA, France, Germany, Italy, United
Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland, during 19662002 as the
dependent variable. Data sources are provided in
Appendix B, Table 2.
883ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 68 (2009) 879887
European countries (DOE/EIA, 1994). The total volume of
transport in 1998 was 4223 million vehicle km in the USA,
and 2131 vehicle km in the six European Countries (OECD,
2001). Transportation has increased steadily and in 1999
accounted for about two-third of total US petroleum demand
compared with about 50% before 1973 (Fenn, 2000). It is the
greater frequency of vehicle use, not the differences in length
of journeys that determines the larger total transport energy
use in the USA (Schipper et al., 1997). The negative correlation
between population density and energy use per capita may
also reflect the fact that transportation systems differ between
the regions, since low-density settlement favours cars over
more energy efficient transportation modes (Schipper et al.,
1997). There might also be more general causes for this
population density factor; like a high net import to densely
populated parts of the study regions, and hence the externa-
lisation of material and energy intensive processes (Anders-
son and Lindroth, 2001; Weisz et al., 2006).
An important assumption underlying the EKC hypothe-
sis is that movement towards an information society,
characterized by a high level of technology and increased
importance of the service sector, will lead to reduced en-
vironmental impacts (Jänicke et al., 1989; Daniels, 1992;
Picton and Daniels, 1999). Thus, we expected to see a negative
relationship between per capita energy use and the propor-
tion of GDP that can be attributed to the service sector. The
same relationship was expected for the number of TVs/ca-
pita, which was included as a technology indicator. However,
we found positive relationships, contradicting the assump-
tion that movement towards a highly efficient information
societyleads to decreased use of natural resources. This
finding is supported by other studies. For example Giampie-
tro (1999) found, in a study of 107 nations, a negative rela-
tionship between energy consumption per capita and the
proportion of the population working in the productive sec-
tor. York, Rosa and Dietz (2005) showed in a study of 139
nations that service sector development does not have a
significant relationship with ecological footprint intensity
and Salzman (2000) concluded that the growth of the service
sector during the last decades in the world's wealthier
countries has increased their overall economic activity and
thus overall resource consumption.
In summary, our comparison between the two regions
shows that variations in the size of the rebound effect can be
explained by differences in population growth rate and in
absolute levels of per capita use that were already present at
the beginning of the study period (1960). How this difference
arose could thus not be studied directly, but our comparison
during the study period indicates that the organization of the
transportation sector is likely to be important. Next we discuss
a more general strategy for reducing environmental impacts
to sustainable levels.
Numerous promising environmental techniques are in
various stages of development. One example is the use of
solar energy techniques in combination with hydrogen as an
energy transport medium (Jaramilli et al., 1998; Green, 2000).
Another example is better recycling (Recycling international,
2002). To determine whether such technical improvements
can be sufficient to curb the rebound effects,methodsfor
measuring the mobilization of material and energy per capita
(Bringezu et al., 1995), at the municipal level (Burström, 1998),
and in different regions (Jänicke et al., 1993; Wackernagel
et al., 1999; Hanley et al., 1999) could be useful approaches.
When such measurements are made, it is important to in-
clude quality aspects (e.g. Odum, 1996; Cleveland et al., 2000).
Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the global level is
included. For example, investments in railways can lead to a
local decrease in air pollution. But such investments can also
increase the economic activity in a region, which in turn lead
to a net increase in the human global ecological footprint.
One way to avoid such mistakes would be to include
calculations of ecological footprints in local environmental
impact assessments (EIA as defined by Morris and Therivel,
2001). However, the overall finding in this study indicates
that increased ecoefficiencyalone will be insufficient to
counterbalance the effects of increasing affluence and
increasing population. To overcome this rebound effect
problem, to find a way to sustainability, it will be justified to
implement a new policy directed more to the driving forces
behind the rebound effect. We suggest a two-step
A first reasonable step would be to determine sustainable
levels of anthropogenic material and energy flows locally
globally. There have been some attempts to calculate such
levels, for nations (Moran et al., 2008), for regions (Spangen-
berg, 1995), and for the entire globe (Pimentel et al., 1994;
Benking et al, 1995). The second step will be the adaption of P,
A and T in the IPAT equation so that sustainable material and
energy flows are reached. A prerequisite for a successful
adaption of the P factor is an achievement of a demographic
transition without the concomitant increase in the use of
natural resources that have preceded most demographic
transitions until now. Benking et al. (1995) propose that this
may require that gains resulting from increased eco-effi-
ciency in developed countries are transferred to poor coun-
tries for development of pension systems and education. To
change individual consumption, the A-factor, actions aimed
at bringing about higher-level changes in the socio-eco-
nomic-cognitive system i.e. changing cultural values and
worldviews will be most effective (Brown and Cameron,
2000). To find ways of promoting an alternative value orien-
tation also on the society level, greater efforts are required
with respect to relevant research and education, as suggested
by Stern (1993) and Kates et al. (2001). An implementation of
the two step strategyoutlined above, i.e. determination of
globally sustainable material flows and adapting our activ-
ities in accordance with the IPAT equation, may lead to
reduced extraction of natural resources. If such an interna-
tional approach cannot be performed, there is an apparent
risk that no n-renewable resource s will be exhausted, and that
the use of renewable resources, including much of the earth's
biodiversity, will continue until their renewable capacity is
We would like to thank Mathis Wackernagel for his permis-
sion to use earlier published data.
884 ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS 68 (2009) 879887
Appendix A
Data used for the IPAT analysis of energy use. GDP is given as
billion US dollars at 2000 prices and PPPs, population is given
in millions, and energy use is expressed as EJ.
Year USA Western Europe
GDP Population Energy
GDP Population Energy
1960 2553.6 180.7 42.7 2203.6 232.7 18.4
1961 2616.6 183.7 43.4 2315.3 234.7 19.0
1962 2751.7 186.6 45.1 2417.9 237.5 20.4
1963 2861.0 189.3 47.6 2524.3 239.9 21.9
1964 3020.7 191.9 49.4 2657.0 242.2 22.8
1965 3189.8 194.3 51.4 2764.7 244.4 23.7
1966 3379.6 196.6 54.4 2868.5 246.3 24.1
1967 3471.6 198.7 56.8 2953.6 247.7 25.0
1968 3617.1 200.7 59.6 3100.5 249.1 26.5
1969 3713.7 202.7 62.5 3278.2 251.0 28.5
1970 3721.7 205.1 65.2 3433.4 252.8 33.9
1971 3850.5 207.7 66.7 3541.5 254.6 34.8
1972 4065.8 209.9 70.0 3679.8 256.0 36.1
1973 4304.8 211.9 72.7 3887.5 257.3 38.3
1974 4284.4 213.9 71.0 3954.9 258.0 37.4
1975 4276.9 216.0 69.5 3907.0 258.2 35.6
1976 4507.0 218.1 74.2 4078.9 258.3 37.8
1977 4717.0 220.3 76.7 4195.0 258.5 37.8
1978 4981.9 222.6 78.9 4324.3 259.0 38.5
1979 5140.4 225.1 78.7 4494.5 259.4 40.2
1980 5128.0 227.7 75.8 4553.1 260.1 39.0
1981 5257.4 230.0 73.8 4549.5 260.7 37.8
1982 5153.6 232.2 70.7 4610.5 261.0 36.9
1983 5386.3 234.3 70.7 4702.3 261.1 37.2
1984 5774.0 236.4 73.8 4816.0 261.2 38.2
1985 6011.0 238.5 74.7 4942.9 261.5 39.7
1986 6217.2 240.7 74.8 5076.2 262.0 40.1
1987 6425.1 242.8 77.8 5206.7 262.5 40.7
1988 6690.0 245.1 80.9 5422.9 263.4 41.1
1989 6926.3 247.4 82.0 5602.3 264.6 41.4
1990 7055.0 250.2 80.8 5775.6 266.0 41.6
1991 7041.3 253.5 81.4 5883.9 267.3 42.4
1992 7276.2 256.9 82.9 5966.2 268.6 41.9
1993 7472.0 260.3 84.7 5955.8 269.8 42.0
1994 7775.5 263.5 86.5 6118.8 270.7 41.6
1995 7972.8 266.6 87.5 6263.0 271.4 42.7
1996 8271.4 269.7 89.5 6352.4 272.1 44.2
1997 8647.6 273.0 90.6 6496.3 272.8 43.7
1998 9012.5 276.2 91.5 6668.0 273.2 44.3
1999 9417.1 279.3 93.9 6832.6 273.9 44.1
2000 9764.8 282.4 96.6 7075.5 274.7 44.5
2001 9838.9 285.4 94.6 7197.0 275.7 45.5
2002 9997.6 288.2 95.9 7257.2 276.7 44.9
Appendix B
Predictor Coefficient SE
Constant 2.49 0
Vehicles/cap 0.19 0.003
Alternative energy 0.03 0.007
Predictor Coefficient SE
Price of gasoline 0.17 0.005
Tax on fuel (%) 0.20 0.005
Energy consump./supply 0.10 0.003
Oil price 0.02 0.008
Service (%) 0.10 0.004
TV/cap 0.17 0.007
Population density 0.13 0.005
Household savings 0.13 0.003
The table shows PLS regression coefficients corresponding to
centered and scaled X-values, and scaled but uncentered Y-values, and
jack knife standard errors computed by cross validation.
Variable Data source
Energy use/capita IEA (2006)
Vehicles/cap IRF (19662005)
Alternative energy EIA (2003)
Price of gasoline OECD (2005)
Tax on fuel (%) OECD (2005)
Energy consump./supply IEA (2006)
Oil price BP (2004)
Service (%) WRI (2006)
TV/cap WRI (2006)
Population density WRI (2006)
Household savings OECD (2003)
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... The opposite is true as well, as documented in [12], who found that in the absence of substitution effects, forest harvesting has higher climate change mitigation potential than a "no harvest" scenario only in the long term (>100 years). Meanwhile, substitution is unlikely to ever be fully realized because of the so-called rebound effect, i.e., the gap between the decreased use of resources expected from increased "eco-efficiency" and their actual utilization [19]. For HWP substitution effects, this means a gap between the expected use of non-woody materials (due to the increased use of HWP) and their actual utilization. ...
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We presented a case study and associated method for stand scale assessment of the duration of the climate change mitigation benefit provided by increasing forest harvest age (i.e., the age a stand is harvested). We used stand yield curves and newly developed equations to estimate carbon stocks in various boreal forest ecosystem pools in Ontario, Canada. The proposed method was applied to forest identified as available for harvesting in management plans for three forest management units with a combined area of more than 1900 km2. Our analysis indicated that a 10-year increase in harvest age did not provide a mitigation benefit (reduced carbon stock) in about half the available harvest area (45.5%, 61.9%, and 62.1% of the total available harvest area in the management units). Increasing the harvest age by 10 years resulted in a mitigation benefit lasting longer than 25 years for 15.1%, 16.0%, and 13.0% of the total available harvest area in the management units. The results suggest that increasing harvest age may have limited mitigation potential in Ontario’s managed boreal forests in the short-term but can reduce overall carbon stocks in the longer term.
... The opposite is true as well, as documented in [12], who found that in the absence of substitution effects, forest harvesting has higher climate change mitigation potential than a "no harvest" scenario only in the long term (>100 years). Meanwhile, substitution is unlikely to ever be fully realized because of the so-called rebound effect, i.e., the gap between the decreased use of resources expected from increased "eco-efficiency" and their actual utilization [19]. For HWP substitution effects, this means a gap between the expected use of non-woody materials (due to the increased use of HWP) and their actual utilization. ...
Full-text available
We presented a case study and associated method for stand scale assessment of the duration of the climate change mitigation benefit provided by increasing forest harvest age (i.e., the age a stand is harvested). We used stand yield curves and newly developed equations to estimate carbon stocks in various boreal forest ecosystem pools in Ontario, Canada. The proposed method was applied to forest identified as available for harvesting in management plans for three forest management units with a combined area of more than 1900 km2. Our analysis indicated that a 10-year increase in harvest age did not provide a mitigation benefit (reduced carbon stock) in about half the available harvest area (45.5%, 61.9%, and 62.1% of the total available harvest area in the management units). Increasing the harvest age by 10 years resulted in a mitigation benefit lasting longer than 25 years for 15.1%, 16.0%, and 13.0% of the total available harvest area in the management units. The results suggest that increasing harvest age may have limited mitigation potential in Ontario’s managed boreal forests in the short-term but can reduce overall carbon stocks in the longer term.
... Research suggests, however, that the rebound effect is stronger for developing countries and general-purpose technologies than in developed countries and niche technologies [3][4][5]8]. In line with the generic IPAT (Impact = Population × Affluence × Technology) concept, countries may experience declines in energy consumption not linked to rebound effects but to declining population or GDP [9]. Nordhaus [5] argues that rebound effects are key to improved human wellbeing, especially in developing countries, as energy efficiency can be a precondition for achieving other SDGs such as SDG 1 (no poverty), 3 (good health and well-being) and 8 (decent work and economic growth). ...
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Jevons Paradox has fundamental implications on sustainable development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The paradox states that technological improvements aiming to increase the energy efficiency risk causing a rebound effect, and an increase in demand, production, and resource exploitation. Third world countries undergoing early-stage technological development may be particularly vulnerable, but it is also relevant in complex economic systems, where policymaking on climate and energy building on insufficient knowledge and attention to rebound effects can impair the desired outcome in terms of climate change mitigation, resource use and sustainable development.
... 13 Da mit Blick auf die Wachstumsfrage hier vor allem die globale Dimension der Umweltbelastungen thematisiert wird, erfolgt in diesem Abschnitt kein Faktencheck dazu, wie sich die Situation in Österreich im Detail darstellt. 14 Siehe z.B.Barker et al. 2009;Holm, Englund 2009;Frondel et al. 2008;Sorrell 2007.15 Rockström und Sachs (2013) identifizieren sechs grundlegende Transformationen (six major structural transformations), die zur Ermöglichung einer "Green Economy" im globalen Kontext erforderlich sind: (i) Energy, (ii) Food Security, (iii) Urban Sustainability, (iv) Population, (v) Biodiversity Management und (vi) Private and Public Governance Transformation.Kosten verbunden, etwa durch die Häufung extremer Wettereignisse vor allem in weniger entwickelten Volkswirtschaften. ...
Technical Report
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Die weltwirtschaftlichen Wachstumsaussichten trüben sich ein. Eine lang anhaltende Phase der wirt-schaftlichen Stagnation mit minimalem oder ganz ausbleibendem Wirtschaftswachstum scheint derzeit nicht ausgeschlossen. Die Relevanz dieser These leitet sich nicht vorrangig daraus ab, dass viele Volks-wirtschaften nach der globalen Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise der Jahre 2008 bis 2010 noch nicht auf den dynamischen Wachstumspfad der Vorkrisenperiode zurückgefunden haben. In den akademischen Krei-sen wird diese anhaltende Wachstumsschwäche unter dem Stichwort der säkularen Stagnation disku-tiert, weil sie gleichzeitig mit einem Ungleichgewicht zwischen Sparen und Investitionen verbunden ist. Die Wirtschaftsakteure investieren zu wenig und sparen zu viel. Die traditionelle Geldpolitik ist machtlos, weil die nominellen Zinsen die Untergrenze erreicht haben. In den Feuilletons der Zeitungen ist vor diesem Hintergrund wieder eine Debatte über Grenzen des Wachstums entstanden. Die Wochenzeit-schrift „Die Zeit“ titelte am 6. August 2015 „Mehr ist nicht!“ und fragt, was die Wirtschaftspolitik jetzt tun könne. Genau das ist die Kernfrage des vorliegenden Papieres. Betrachtet werden Begründungsmuster, mögliche Konsequenzen und grundlegende Handlungsoptionen. Dabei wird ein anhaltendes Minimal-wachstums unterstellt, wobei es noch lange nicht ausgemacht ist, dass es wirklich so kommt.
... Ainsi, des entreprises localesavec des pratiques anciennes de circularité de flux -ont longtemps refusé d'adhérer au projet en raison de cette centralité de la SADC. Il existe même un risque de démobilisation de certaines parties prenantes, en raison de cette suppose de nouvelles approches managériales, qui peuvent se traduire par une démocratisation de l'action écologique, afin de bâtir des socio-systèmes résilients et durables (Holm & Englund, 2009;Huppes & Ishikawa, 2009). C'est ce que nous abordons dans les prochaines pages. ...
Depuis plusieurs années, l’enjeu de la transition écologique s’illustre par la mobilisation d’une multitude d’acteurs économiques et institutionnels pour une transformation du modèle économique en une approche intégrée, écosystémique et fonctionnant de manière analogue à celui des écosystèmes biologiques. De ce point de vue, la référence à l’économie circulaire offre l’avantage d’un presque consensus autour d’une vision économique de la gestion des ressources et de l’adaptation au changement climatique. Au Québec, des démarches d’économie circulaire émergent ainsi dans plusieurs régions du territoire, témoignant de l’appropriation d’un nouveau champ de la transition écologique. Ces projets sont portés à la fois par des collectivités territoriales, des organismes publics et parapublics, des entreprises et/ou des clubs d’entreprises, etc. Les démarches locales d’économie circulaire peuvent être lues comme l’activation des capacités d’une pluralité d’acteurs territoriaux à mettre en commun leurs ressources. Cependant, elles renvoient aussi à l’expression de différentes formes de souverainetés locales. Paradoxalement, ces aspirations territoriales particulières peuvent parfois révéler des entraves à l’impératif d’un changement de paradigme économique. À partir du projet d’économie circulaire dans la Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) de Kamouraska, ce chapitre illustre l’importance d’un processus collectif tant dans la mise en œuvre, que dans la gouvernance des démarches d’économie circulaire, autour d’un enjeu important, soit celui d’associer le développement économique à la transition écologique. Dans la section suivante, nous revenons sur les composantes de l’économie circulaire. Ensuite, dans la première partie de la section 2, nous introduisons le contexte québécois. Le cas de la démarche d’économie circulaire déployée depuis 2016 dans la région de Kamouraska est ensuite situé dans son contexte et analysé à la lumière des défis qui se posent pour le leadership, la gouvernance et la pérennité.
... It is frequently pointed out that rebound effects can occur, resulting in energy savings being lower than expected. This is a well-known phenomenon (Khazzoom, 1980;Khazzoom, 1989;Saunders, 2000;Binswanger, 2001;Sorrell and Dimitropoulos, 2008), that is mainly discussed by energy economists (Holm and Englund, 2009;Chakravarty et al., 2013;Turner, 2013). However, ecological economists also argue that the importance of energy for economic growth is fundamentally underestimated in neoclassical economics and more practical considerations of the rebound effect are needed (Vivanco et al., 2016a;Sonnberger and Gross, 2018;Keen et al., 2019). ...
Energy efficiency programs for industry are important to reduce energy demand and GHG emissions. Rebound effects reduce intended energy savings. Against this background, various policy measures are modeled and combined for German industry to see how they can counter rebound effects. The efficiency program itself, the reinvestment requirement and carbon prices reduce energy use in industry. Higher carbon prices or energy taxes also reduce energy consumption and emissions in other sectors that are more price sensitive. Reimbursement of carbon pricing revenues via lower electricity prices can incentivize the shift towards electricity, but also towards more energy consumption. A combined set of policy measures for German industry can reduce energy use in industry by 5.2% against a baseline in 2030. The combined policy set will further reduce CO2 emissions, having only small effects on other sustainability indicators such as GDP and employment. In the future, rebound effects need to be considered in policy design. As the combined set will clearly miss the new national emission target for 2030, additional measures are needed together with a fundamental transformation of the energy system. To reach the targets of the Paris agreement, besides energy efficiency also clean energy supply, sufficiency and behavioral change are necessary.
... The SDI Index can be expressed using the formula (, 2021 a.): (3) The Development Index is derived from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) using the same data set that underpins the Human Development Index (HDI) and can be expressed as follows: (4)  The Life Expectancy Index is calculated as the ratio of the difference between life expectancy at birth (in the given country) and the number 20; and the difference between numbers 85 and 20.  We calculate the Education Index as the ratio of the sum of years of schooling (maximum value by 2025 is set at 15 years and minimum value is 0 years) and expected years of schooling (maximum value is set at 18 years -equivalent to obtaining higher education in most countries and minimum value is 0 years) with the number 2.  We calculate the Income Index according to the formula: (5) GNI -gross nations income ...
Environmental threats of anthropological origin, such as global warming, rising water levels, air pollution, excessive waste generation, or the seas and oceans quality decline, are threats that directly affect us. Thus, the main goal of this paper is to evaluate the impact of current economic development in the intentions of planetary limits through regression analysis using cross-sectional and panel data evaluating the dependence of ecological footprint per person, gross domestic product per person and Sustainable Development Index. The analysis shows that economic development in line with the current market rules contributes to expand the ecological footprint. We argue that both green measures into international and national policies as an effective monitoring of the achievement of sustainable goals of all market actors are necessary.
... Focusing on improving the resource efficiency of producing a single unit of industrial output-for example 1 tonne of cement, or 1 MJ of biogas-should not cloud our judgment regarding the performance and impact of the overall industrial output and the possible rebound effects (Holm and Englund, 2009). Effective "ecoindustrial development", that is, the transition of existing industrial activities toward economic and ecological ones, requires improving resource efficiency at the level of the overall industrial throughput. ...
... The political environment only plays a role to the extent that it influences the profitability of bioenergy through taxes or subsidies (Ch2SM: 16). In addition, an idealized form of economic impact mechanisms is assumed in that the much-cited rebound effects are not taken into account in the models (Ch2SM: 15), i.e. the effect of the instruments is clearly overestimated (Holm, Englund 2009;Santarius, Soland 2018). This economic optimization without considering climate damage has serious consequences. ...
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The 2018 IPCC Special Report SR15 developed four scenarios how temperature increases could either be limited to 1.5°, or, in the case of overshoot, could be brought back to that level by 2100. However, the Carbon Dioxide Removal options discussed to achieve "negative emissions" will affect not only the climate system, but also biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. Unfortunately, the Integrated Assessment Models, and in particular the economic models incorporated in them were capable of integrating only a selective fraction of these effects, and ignore potential tipping points triggering irreversible processes, policies beyond economic instruments and consumption changes to happen over the next 80 years. Our analysis is based on an interdisciplinary expert elicitation, analysing the options suggested by the IPCC one by one. We find that most of them are associated with biodiversity loss, hazardous chemicals dispersion, enhanced energy consumption and/or other severe other damages. We suggest which measures can be applied sustainably, which should be dropped, and which additional ones have been omitted by the report.
The study contributes to the literature by developing a method for analyzing and processing available statistical information in the field of environmental protection in order to design an optimal plan of environmental measures. Decision-making is proposed to be carried out based on comparing the indicators of regional statistics with target indicators corresponding to the "ideal" state of the region’s economy and its environmental management system, computing by Data Envelopment Analysis model. The method can be easily incorporated in everyday practice of environmental management and can become an important element of information support system for environmental management in the regions.
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The article reviews classical and current literature concerning relationships between psoriasis and heart. Numerous epidemiological studies point to an increased risk of heart conditions in psoriasis patients. Various risk factors for cardiac pathologies were also observed to be increased in psoriasis patients. Studies applying echocardiographic and electrocardiographic examinations showed higher frequency of cardiac abnormalities in patients with psoriasis than in control groups. Possible mechanisms responsible for an increased prevalence of cardiac pathologies in psoriasis are discussed including lipid metabolism disturbances, systemic effects of altered patterns of proinflammatory cytokines, increased cardiac pathologies due to other conditions comorbid with psoriasis and side effects of systemic treatments for psoriasis.
This chapter presents the international agencies that provide information on energy reserves, production and usage in the form of conference proceedings, study reports, periodicals and statistics for a number of countries. The agencies described are those that provide information on energy in general, including energy technology, and those international organizations that supply information on a specific fuel or energy source. The World Energy Conference (WEC) was set up in 1924 and is the major international forum for producers and consumers of energy, with representatives from industry, government, and academia. The International Energy Agency (IEA), which has its headquarters in Paris, was set up as an autonomous agency in 1974 by member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in response to the mid-1970s oil crisis. The Commonwealth Secretariat, located in London, is the office of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, the association of the member nations representing a population of more than 1 billion (1981 statistics). It undertakes a variety of economic, social, and technical studies of interest to member countries. Scientific interests are the concern of the Commonwealth Science Council.
The ecological footprint assesses people's use of natural capital by comparing their resource consumption and waste production to the regenerative capacity of the earth. Previous studies based on United Nations statistics have shown that humanity's use of natural capital exceeds the global biocapacity. They have also shown a great spread in the size of people's ecological footprints. In this study, which focuses on Sweden, we have improved the method of footprint and biocapacity calculations and demonstrate how a national footprint can be used for regions and even catchment areas. We include for the first time, areas for absorbing plant nutrients leaching from farmland and for providing domestic water. In this paper, we describe the method, compare it to those used earlier by others and ourselves, and discuss its possibilities and limitations.
Earths resources are consumed by one of its 5-30 million species homo sapiens or man at a rate disproportionately greater than any other species. Mans impact on the biosphere is measured in terms of net primary production (NPP). NPP is the amount of energy remaining after the respiration of primary producers (mostly plants) is subtracted from the total amount of biologically fixed energy (mostly solar). Human output is determined by 1) the direct NPP used for food fuel fiber or timber which yields a low estimate 2) all NPP of cropland devoted to human activity and 3) both 1) and 2) and land conversion for cities or pastures as well as conversion which results in desertification and overuse of lands. This last output determination yields a high estimate. Calculations are made for global NPP and each of the 3 estimates of low intermediate and high human output. Data are based on estimates by Ajtay et al. Armentano and Loucks and Houghton et al. and on the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) summaries. Petagram (Pg) is used to calculate organic matter; this is equivalent to 10 to the 15th power grams or 10 to the 9th power metric tons. Carbon has been converted to organic matter by multiplying by 2.2. Matter in kilocalories has been converted to organic matter by dividing by 5. Intermediate or conservative estimates have been included. The standard of biomass is 1244 Pg and an annual NPP to 132.1. The NPP of marine and freshwater ecosystems is considered to be 92.4 Pg which is a low estimate. The low calculation of human (5 billion persons) consumption of plants at a caloric intake of 2500 kilocalories/person/day is .91 Pg of organic matter which equals .76 Pg of vegetable matter. The global production of human food is 1/7 Pg for grains and for human and livestock fed or .85 Pg of dry grain material and .3 Pg in nongrain dry material with dry grain material and .3 Pg in nongrain dry material with a subtraction of 20% for water content. 34% or .39 Pg is lost to waste and spoilage. Consumption by livestock forest usage and aquatic ecosystems is computed. The overall estimate for human use if 7.2 Pg of organic matter/year or 3% of total NPP/year. The intermediate figures take into account cropland pastureland forest use and conversion; the overall estimate of human use is 42.6 Pg of NPP/year of 19.0% (42.6/224.5) of NPP (30.7% on land and 2.2% on seas). The high estimate yields human use of 58.1 Pg/year on land or 40% (58.1/149.6) of potential land productivity or 25% (60.1/149.8 + 92.4) of land and water NPP. The remaining 60% of land is also affected by humans. The figures reflect the current patterns of exploitation distribution and consumption of a much larger population. These patterns amount to using >50% of NPP of land; there must be limits to growth.
Determination of chemical concentrations can be made more rapid and reliable by combining information from several measurement variables, e.g. light absorbances at several wavelengths. Systematic errors can thereby be eliminated so that very unspecific measurement data can be used for quantitative determinations. Automatic warning of unexpected errors is also possible. In addition, multivariate calibration can give new information on how the chemical components behave in situ in the sample. Near InfraRed (NIR) reflectance analysis of wheat flour is used as an example.