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Development without energy? Assessing future scenarios of energy consumption in developing countries

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  • Steckel, Jan Christoph
  • Brecha, Robert J.
  • Jakob, Michael
  • Strefler, Jessica
  • Luderer, Gunnar

Abstract

We analyze the relationship between economic development and energy consumption in the context of greenhouse gas mitigation. The main contribution of this work is to compare estimates of energy thresholds in the form of minimum energy requirements to reach high levels of development with output projections of per capita final energy supply from a group of integrated assessment models (IAMs). Scenarios project that reductions of carbon emissions in developing countries will be achieved not only by means of decreasing the carbon intensity, but also by making a significant break with the historically observed relationship between energy use and economic growth. We discuss the feasibility of achieving, on time scales acceptable for developing countries, both decarbonization and the needed structural changes or efficiency improvements, concluding that the decreases in energy consumption implied in numerous mitigation scenarios are unlikely to be achieved without endangering sustainable development objectives. To underscore the importance of basic energy needs also in the future, the role of infrastructure is highlighted, using steel and cement as examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Steckel, Jan Christoph & Brecha, Robert J. & Jakob, Michael & Strefler, Jessica & Luderer, Gunnar, 2013. "Development without energy? Assessing future scenarios of energy consumption in developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 53-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:53-67 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.02.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo-Romero, M.P. & Cruz, L. & Barata, E., 2017. "Testing the transport energy-environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis in the EU27 countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 257-269.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:148-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:1122-1133 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pablo-Romero, María del P. & Sánchez-Braza, Antonio, 2017. "The changing of the relationships between carbon footprints and final demand: Panel data evidence for 40 major countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 8-20.
    5. Ottmar Edenhofer & Susanne Kadner & Christoph von Stechow & Gregor Schwerhoff & Gunnar Luderer, 2014. "Linking climate change mitigation research to sustainable development," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 30, pages 476-499 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Ioanna Mouratiadou & Gunnar Luderer & Nico Bauer & Elmar Kriegler, 2016. "Emissions and their drivers: sensitivity to economic growth and fossil fuel availability across world regions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 23-37, May.
    7. Pablo-Romero, María del P. & De Jesús, Josué, 2016. "Economic growth and energy consumption: The Energy-Environmental Kuznets Curve for Latin America and the Caribbean," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1343-1350.

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