Cover Image
close this bookEnergy after Rio - Prospects and Challenges - Executive Summary (UNDP, 1997, 38 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentForeword
View the documentNotes on the Authors and Contributors
View the documentAbstract
View the document1. Introduction
close this folder2. Energy and Major Global Issues
View the document(introduction...)
close this folder2.1 Energy and Social Issues
View the document2.1.1 Poverty
View the document2.1.2 Gender Disparity
View the document2.1.3 Population
View the document2.1.4 Undernutrition and Food
close this folder2.2 Energy and Environment
View the document2.2.1 Health
View the document2.2.2 Acidification
View the document2.2.3 Climate Change
View the document2.2.4 Land Degradation
close this folder2.3 Energy and the Economy
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3.1 Investment Requirements of Energy
View the document2.3.2 Foreign Exchange Impacts of Energy Imports
close this folder2.4 Energy and Security
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.4.1 Energy and National Security
View the document2.4.2 Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
View the document2.5 Energy and Global Issues: The Implications
close this folder3. New Opportunities in Energy Demand, Supply and Systems
View the document3.1 Introduction
View the document3.2 Demand Side: Energy and Energy-Intensive Materials Efficiency
View the document3.3 Supply Side: Renewables and Clean Fossil Fuel Technologies
View the document3.4 Fuels and Stoves for Cooking
close this folder4. Sustainable Strategies
View the document4.1 Global Energy Scenarios
View the document4.2 Implications for the Developing World
View the document4.3 Implications for Energy Exporting Economies
close this folder4.4 Some General Implications of Sustainable Energy Systems
View the document4.4.1 Energy and the Economy
View the document4.4.2 Energy and Poverty
View the document4.4.3 Creating Jobs
View the document4.4.4 Women
View the document4.4.5 Rural Development
View the document4.4.6 Urban Development
View the document4.4.7 Energy and the Environment
View the document4.4.8 Energy and Security
View the document4.5 Conclusions
View the document5. Making It Happen: Energy for Sustainable Development
View the documentGlossary of Abbreviations

2.1.3 Population

The conventional view is that population determines energy use as an external influence, i.e., exogenously. There is another view that the pattern of energy use influences population growth, through its effect on the desired number of births in a family and the relative benefits of fertility. The implication of this dimension of the energy-population nexus is that one important challenge for the energy system is to accelerate the demographic transition in which the population moves from an old balance of high mortality and high fertility to a new balance of low mortality and low fertility. This acceleration requires a dramatic reduction in fertility to stabilise the global population as quickly as possible, and at as low a level as possible.

women and children’s time spent in fuel and water collection represents a high social and economic cost

The reduction of fertility depends upon crucial developmental tasks such as increased life expectancy, improvement of the living environment (drinking water, sanitation, housing, etc.), education of women, diversion of children from household-survival tasks and employment to schooling, etc. Almost every one of these socio-economic preconditions for smaller family size and fertility decline depends upon energy-utilising technologies. But current patterns of energy use in developing countries do not reflect emphasis on the provision of safe and sufficient supplies of drinking water, the maintenance of a clean and healthy environment, the reduction of the drudgery of household chores traditionally performed by women, the relief from household-survival tasks carried out by children and the establishment of income-generating industries in rural areas.

Thus, current patterns of energy use do not emphasise the type of energy-utilising technologies necessary to satisfy the socio-economic preconditions for fertility decline.