Consumption-Driven Environmental Impact and Age Structure Change in OECD Countries
This paper examines two environmental impacts for which population has a substantial demonstrated influence: transport carbon emissions and residential electricity consumption. It takes as its starting point the STIRPAT framework and disaggregates population into four key age groups: 20-34, 35-49, 50-69, and 70 and older. Population age structure’s influence was significant and varied across cohorts, and its profile was different for two dependent variables. For transport, young adults (20-34) were intensive, whereas the other cohorts had negative coefficients. For residential electricity consumption, age structure had a U-shaped impact: the youngest and oldest had positive coefficients, while the middle cohorts had negative coefficients.