Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 165–179 | Cite as

Decomposing the anthropogenic causes of climate change

  • Alessandro De MatteisEmail author


Awareness of the risks imposed by the ongoing process of climate change has led to progressive efforts at coordination at the global level, highlighting the need for shared efforts to achieve common goals. This study provides a contribution to the discussion through an analysis of the human contribution to climate change, highlighting the complexity of policy measures and the long amount of time required to reduce, or at least contain, the ongoing process of climate change. Our results remark the key role played by demographic pressure and the limited contribution that technological progress can provide to contain climate change. Overall, the core socio-economic and political paradigms on which current lifestyle is predominantly based are put under the spotlight. The results of the analysis question the very basis of economic growth and modern lifestyle and raise the prospect of some difficult but necessary behavioural changes.


Climate change Anthropogenic causes Demographic pressure Steady state 



The author gratefully acknowledges comments received on an earlier version of this article from two anonymous referees. Usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of International DevelopmentUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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