Thursday, November 22, 2007

Energy Efficiency is Not Enough

When i attended the Corporate Climate Response Conference in London i asked someone from the energy saving trust about 'Macro-economic rebound' it was shrugged off as unimportant-- that was accompanied by a glare.

According to SusHI new research shows that there are real issues with what people do with all that money saved on fuel in there new efficient car...

We get a higher mileage car and use the savings to fly away on vacation. Who are we fooling? Experts and policymakers, that’s who, says Steve Sorrel in a new report on the ‘rebound’ effect in energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
Apparently the IPCC and Nicholas Stern are amongst report authors who have underestimated the importance of these effects.

According to the report's chief author, Steve Sorrell, Senior Fellow at UKERC, "Rebound effects have been neglected by both experts and policymakers - for example, they do not feature in the recent Stern and IPCC reports or in the Government's Energy White Paper. This is a mistake. If we do not make sufficient allowance for rebound effects, we will overestimate the contribution that energy efficiency can make to reducing carbon emissions. This is especially important given that the Climate Change Bill proposes legally binding commitments to meet carbon emissions reduction targets. We need to get the sums right."

  1. Press Release from UK Energy Research Council (UKERC) "Rebound Effect Threatens Success of UK Climate Policy"
  2. UKERC report: The Rebound Effect: an assessment of the evidence for economy-wideenergy savings from improved energy efficiency.
  3. UKERC report launch presentation.

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