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Lifestyle Choices and Societal Behavior Changes as Local Climate Strategy

Lifestyle Choices and Societal Behavior Changes as Local Climate Strategy

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Published by ADBI Publications





The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing rapid economic growth. Along with rising incomes, the lifestyles of the large middle class are moving quickly towards a buy-and-discard consumer model that involves carbon-intensive products and services. This paper attempts to identify lifestyle changes at the individual level, and behavioral changes at the community level that could offer high carbon abatement potential. It also provides some good practices of public policies and policy recommendations that can be pivotal in making a business case of low-carbon and eco-efficient lifestyles, strengthening collective awareness, and influencing public decision-making in developing countries in Asia.





The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing rapid economic growth. Along with rising incomes, the lifestyles of the large middle class are moving quickly towards a buy-and-discard consumer model that involves carbon-intensive products and services. This paper attempts to identify lifestyle changes at the individual level, and behavioral changes at the community level that could offer high carbon abatement potential. It also provides some good practices of public policies and policy recommendations that can be pivotal in making a business case of low-carbon and eco-efficient lifestyles, strengthening collective awareness, and influencing public decision-making in developing countries in Asia.

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Published by: ADBI Publications on Dec 04, 2012
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12/30/2014

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The 20th century can be described as an era of population explosion. At the beginning of the
century, the world population was about 1.6 billion and it grew almost four times, to about 6.1
billion by 2000. In addition, the global economy grew sevenfold from 1950 to 2000 (GIZ 2010).
The magnitude of this population change and economic growth is unprecedented in human
history. In 2011, the Earth’s population exceeded 7 billion and according to United Nations (UN)
population projections, it will cross 9 billion by the middle of this century (United Nations 2011a).

Much of this projected increase in population will come from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin
America and Oceania. Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent, covers 29.9% of
the world’s land area and hosts 60% of the world’s current population (about 4 billion). It is not
only the most populated continent but also has the highest population density per square
kilometer—2.5 times the world average. Asia’s population is expected to grow by another billion
by 2050, putting heavy pressure on the planet’s bio-capacity (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Population Growth for World Regions, 1950–2050

(billion)

Adapted from:: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Database. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/panel_population.htm (accessed July 2011).

ADBI Working Paper 398

Mohanty, Scherfler, and Devatha

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