UCL Energy Institute


Global Climate Change Mitigation: What is the Role of Demand Reduction


28 August 2010

There are different options to reduce CO2 emissions: efficiency improvement, structural changes to low carbon or carbon-free technologies, sequestration and demand reduction. While the decarbonisation of secondary energy carriers and technological changes have an important role in climate change mitigation, this paper addresses the role of demand reduction. For this analysis, the elastic demand version of the TIAM-UCL global energy system model is used under different long-term low carbon energy scenarios through to 2100 at low, medium and high values for demand elasticity. The role of demand reduction is examined by means of decomposition analysis at regional and global level. The results of the emission decomposition indicate that a reduction in the demand for energy services can play a limited role, contributing around 5% to global emission reduction in the 21 st century. A look at the sectoral level reveals that demand reduction is very different from sector to sector with demand reduction contributing around 16% in the transport sector and about 2% in the residential sector at a global level. Analysis also finds that demand reduction can significantly affect the regional emission mix.

Global Climate Change Mitigation: What is the Role of Demand Reduction. In: (Proceedings) 11th IAEE European Conference. 

Anandarajah, G; Kesicki, F; (2010) 

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