Population factors are the dynamics that affect economic growth which comprises population growth, mortality, fertility and age-structural change as well as urban growth/urbanization. Owing to these, human population is increasingly affecting global climate through energy consumption. Globally, among several pollutants contributing to climate change, carbon (CO) emissions account for more than 75% of greenhouse gas emissions with about 80% of it generated by the energy sector. However, this study fills the gap in the literature of the relationship among economic growth, energy consumption and carbon emissions by examining the effect of population factors on energy use and carbon emissions in Nigeria. This is done by assessing the main evidence for the effects of population change on emissions driving climate change, mainly focused on carbon from the energy system. It is on this premise that the study examines differential impact of population factors on energy use and carbon emission using an auto regressive distributed lag model (ARDL) developed by Pesaran, Shin and Smith, (2001) by using data set comprising, aggregate energy consumption, and carbon emission and population variables in Nigeria for the period 1980-2013. The study has the following variables carbon emission, energy use, urban population, population density, working population, real gross domestic product. The results show that population factors have more significant effect on energy use and carbon emission than economic growth. Energy consumption and economic growth puts some essential policy implications on the economy of Nigeria. The insignificance of output on energy consumption and carbon emission leads us to draw a conclusion that production activities do account for the increasing energy use and carbon emission rather population factors account for the increasing energy use. This suggests that society increases its per capital energy use when it increases in population size (and decreases its energy use per capital when its population falls). The results of this study suggest that the role of family planning is sensible environmentally because it’s another effective means of regulating birth. Also, the study suggest that alternative source of energy should be developed to reduce the risk posed by use of hydrocarbon as well as fuel environmental education should be encouraged.
1.1 Background Information
The emphasis on the effect of population factors on economic development has varied considerably over time. In some eras, population factors have been viewed by many as strongly shaping development prospects, often with dire concerns about overpopulation in a Malthusian tradition, (Berhman, Duryea & Szekely, 1999) in (Akpan & Akpan 2012). As the interest has increased on how energy consumption and its resulting carbon emissions impact on climate, and thus people, so too has the interest on how population and population processes impact energy consumption and carbon emissions. Dyson (2010) has identified population growth, mortality, fertility and age-structural change as well as urban growth/urbanization as population factors that affect economic growth. Due to the rapid development of urbanization in the world including Nigeria in this 21st century, energy consumption in urban areas in Nigeria is on the high-intensity (Akpan & Akpan, 2012). The rapid expansion of urban areas is increasingly affecting national and global climate and environment, and has attracted people’s attention.