Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seminar @ Crawford School on 29th June

Christian Gross, who will be visiting from the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany, will give the seminar. It will take place in Seminar Room 1, Stanner Building from 12:30 to 1:30.

TITLE: Can Declining Energy Intensity Mitigate Climate Change? Decomposition and Meta-Regression Results

ABSTRACT: Ever since the First Assessment Report on Climate Change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990, there is an ongoing debate on the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions for the future. Based on a modified version of the Kaya Identity we argue that the observed reduction in carbon dioxide intensity (CO2/GDP) from 1971 to 2008 was mainly a result of nonrecurring attempts to reduce the energy intensity of production (Energy/GDP) e.g. an extension of the service economy as well as the off-shoring of pollution intensive production. Using meta-significance testing (Stanley, 2005; 2008) based on 80 studies on the relationship between energy and economic growth, we find that, in fact, energy and growth are strongly interlinked, so that a slowdown in the decrease in energy intensity or even a recurring increase is possible. Ceteris paribus, this would also entail an increase in carbon dioxide intensity. We suggest that the only strategy to achieve sustainability is to reduce the multiplier between carbon dioxide intensity and energy intensity, namely the carbon dioxide intensity of energy (CO2/Energy). As a consequence, if our projections are true, the time frame to do so is smaller than normally assumed.

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