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Implications of fossil fuel constraints on economic growth and global warming

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  • Nel, Willem P.
  • Cooper, Christopher J.

Abstract

Energy Security and Global Warming are analysed as 21st century sustainability threats. Best estimates of future energy availability are derived as an Energy Reference Case (ERC). An explicit economic growth model is used to interpret the impact of the ERC on economic growth. The model predicts a divergence from 20th century equilibrium conditions in economic growth and socio-economic welfare is only stabilised under optimistic assumptions that demands a paradigm shift in contemporary economic thought and focused attention from policy makers. Fossil fuel depletion also constrains the maximum extent of Global Warming. Carbon emissions from the ERC comply nominally with the B1 scenario, which is the lowest emissions case considered by the IPCC. The IPCC predicts a temperature response within acceptance limits of the Global Warming debate for the B1 scenario. The carbon feedback cycle, used in the IPCC models, is shown as invalid for low-emissions scenarios and an alternative carbon cycle reduces the temperature response for the ERC considerably compared to the IPCC predictions. Our analysis proposes that the extent of Global Warming may be acceptable and preferable compared to the socio-economic consequences of not exploiting fossil fuel reserves to their full technical potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Nel, Willem P. & Cooper, Christopher J., 2009. "Implications of fossil fuel constraints on economic growth and global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 166-180, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:1:p:166-180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nel, Willem P. & van Zyl, Gerhardus, 2010. "Defining limits: Energy constrained economic growth," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 168-177.
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    4. Valero, Antonio & Agudelo, Andrés & Valero, Alicia, 2011. "The crepuscular planet. A model for the exhausted atmosphere and hydrosphere," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 3745-3753.
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    6. Zecca, Antonio & Chiari, Luca, 2010. "Fossil-fuel constraints on global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-3, January.
    7. Ward, James D. & Mohr, Steve H. & Myers, Baden R. & Nel, Willem P., 2012. "High estimates of supply constrained emissions scenarios for long-term climate risk assessment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 598-604.
    8. Hil Baky, Md. Abdullah & Rahman, Md. Mustafizur & Islam, A.K.M. Sadrul, 2017. "Development of renewable energy sector in Bangladesh: Current status and future potentials," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1184-1197.
    9. Shafie, S.M. & Mahlia, T.M.I. & Masjuki, H.H. & Ahmad-Yazid, A., 2012. "A review on electricity generation based on biomass residue in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 5879-5889.
    10. Höök, Mikael & Tang, Xu, 2013. "Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change—A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 797-809.
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    13. Leggett, L. Mark W. & Ball, David A., 2012. "The implication for climate change and peak fossil fuel of the continuation of the current trend in wind and solar energy production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 610-617.
    14. Brook, Barry W., 2012. "Could nuclear fission energy, etc., solve the greenhouse problem? The affirmative case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 4-8.
    15. Pereira, Alfredo M. & Pereira, Rui M., 2014. "On the environmental, economic and budgetary impacts of fossil fuel prices: A dynamic general equilibrium analysis of the Portuguese case," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 248-261.
    16. Robert J. Brecha, 2013. "Ten Reasons to Take Peak Oil Seriously," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 1-31, February.
    17. Powell, E.E. & Hill, G.A., 2010. "Carbon dioxide neutral, integrated biofuel facility," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 4582-4586.
    18. Yoon, Su-Young & Kim, Byung-Ro & Han, Sim-Hee & Shin, Soo-Jeong, 2015. "Different response between woody core and bark of goat willow (Salix caprea L.) to concentrated phosphoric acid pretreatment followed by enzymatic saccharification," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 21-26.
    19. Lin, Boqiang & Liu, Jianghua & Yang, Yingchun, 2012. "Impact of carbon intensity and energy security constraints on China's coal import," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 137-147.
    20. Halder, P.K. & Paul, N. & Joardder, M.U.H. & Sarker, M., 2015. "Energy scarcity and potential of renewable energy in Bangladesh," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1636-1649.
    21. Moriarty, Patrick & Honnery, Damon, 2009. "What energy levels can the Earth sustain?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2469-2474, July.
    22. Capellán-Pérez, Iñigo & Mediavilla, Margarita & de Castro, Carlos & Carpintero, Óscar & Miguel, Luis Javier, 2014. "Fossil fuel depletion and socio-economic scenarios: An integrated approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 641-666.
    23. Chiari, Luca & Zecca, Antonio, 2011. "Constraints of fossil fuels depletion on global warming projections," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5026-5034, September.
    24. Talinli, Ilhan & Topuz, Emel & Uygar Akbay, Mehmet, 2010. "Comparative analysis for energy production processes (EPPs): Sustainable energy futures for Turkey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4479-4488, August.

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