Quotation Seminiuk, Gregor, Taylor, Lance, Rezai, Armon, Foley, Duncan. 2021. Plausible energy demand patterns in a growing global economy with climate policy. Nature Climate Change. (11), 313-318.




Reducing the energy demand has become a key mechanism for limiting climate change, but there are practical limitations associated with large energy savings in a growing global economy and, importantly, its lower-income parts. Using new data on energy and GDP, we show that adopting the same near-term low-energy growth trajectory in all regions in IPCC scenarios limiting global warming to 1.5 °C presents an unresolved policy challenge. We discuss this challenge of combining energy demand reductions with robust income growth for the 6.4 billion people in middle- and low-income countries in light of the reliance of economic development on industrialization. Our results highlight the importance of addressing limits to energy demand reduction in integrated assessment modelling when regional economic development is powered by industrialization and of instead exploring faster energy supply decarbonization. Insights from development economics and other disciplines could help generate plausible assumptions given the financial, investment and stability issues involved.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Nature Climate Change
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Plausible energy demand patterns in a growing global economy with climate policy.
Number 11
Year 2021
Page from 313
Page to 318
URL https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-00975-7
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-00975-7
Open Access N


Rezai, Armon (Details)
Foley, Duncan (NSSR, United States/USA)
Seminiuk, Gregor (UMass Amherst, United States/USA)
Taylor, Lance (NSSR, United States/USA)
Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility WE (Details)
Institute for Ecological Economics IN (Details)
Socioeconomics of Work Group AB (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2928 Environmental economics (Details)
5325 Political economics (Details)
5334 Political economic policy (Details)
5335 Political economic theory (Details)
5341 Economic policy (Details)
5353 Environmental economics (Details)
5924 Environmental economics (Details)
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