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  • Titill er á ensku Drivers of an ecological deficit. Analysis of the OECD countries’ ecological deficit
  • Orsakavaldar vistræns halla
  • Bakkalár
  • The aim of this paper is to research the ecological deficit of 34 OECD countries from 1964 to 2013. Ecological deficit measures the environmental sustainability of human consumption. Ecological Footprint, which has been studied more extensively, measures human impact on the environment. Real GDP, population density, education, the dependency ratio and urbanization are found to have significant effects on ecological deficit. The same factors affect Ecological Footprint, with the exception of population density. When one analyses the relationship between human activity and the environment, focusing solely on the Ecological Footprint may cause some determinants of environmental sustainability to be overlooked. Ecological deficit needs to be considered as well. Perhaps the most remarkable results found are the positive effects on the environment of education and of an increased dependency ratio. Education may stimulate awareness of environmental issues and encourage an intention to improve things. This indicates that education is important not only to human well-being but also to the environment. As the dependency ratio of a nation increases, relatively more inhabitants are children or senior citizens; they consume less than the average adult which decreases demand on the environment. This suggests that the ageing population of developed nations in recent years might be good for the environment. A country comparison of the OECD nations reveals that Canada, Australia and Belgium are the most environmentally sustainable countries when influential factors are held constant. France seems to be the most environmentally friendly of the OECD’s largest economies.

  • 11.5.2018

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