Investigação • 05 jul 2018
Global warming: less (consumption) is more (quality of life)!
Nuno Bento

It is possible, by 2050, to reduce world energy consumption by 40% and achieve the Paris Agreement goal (to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius), concludes a study developed by a team of researchers - coordinated by Arnulf Grübler and Charlie Wilson of IIASA - of which Nuno Bento, researcher at DINÂMIA'CET-IUL, is also a member. All through a global push towards energy efficiency and the pursuit of emerging trends of change in the daily habits of all of us.

In theory, the scenario of low energy demand (LED) tells us that the historical trend of increasing energy consumption can be changed and re-educated towards sustainability. This study, recently published in the scientific journal Nature Energy, stresses that this change can limit global warming to 1.5ºC, despite increased industrial activity and a recovery of the standard of living in the countries of the South compared to the countries of the North. This division focuses on four end-uses of energy (thermal comfort, consumer goods, mobility, food) and five sectors (public and commercial building, industry, freight transportation, international air and sea transport).

Policymakers play an important role through the implementation of strategic measures such as: tightening energy efficiency standards for construction and consumer goods; continuous innovation policies consistent with the logic of sobriety and efficiency; opening to the development of new business models, namely based on digitization and decentralized provision of services, in order to overcome obstacles that might slow down structural change.

It seems a utopian scenario, but Nuno Bento highlights how this analysis enables us to project this change in the medium/long term: "through the dissemination of available technologies and boosting of emerging trends related to behavioural changes". He added: "In this way, it is possible to ensure high standards of quality of life in Northern countries and reduce asymmetries in the countries of the South. This study is truly innovative in that it shows how climate challenge can become an opportunity for the next generations if public policies are aligned and coherent."

To learn more, see the article here.

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