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The Effect of African Growth on Future Global Energy, Emissions, and Regional Development

Author

Listed:
  • Katherine Calvin

    (Joint Global Change Research Institute/PNNL)

  • Shonali Pachauri

    (Organization International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis/IIASA)

  • Enrica De Cian

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change/CMCC)

  • Ioanna Mouratiadou

    (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research/PIK)

Abstract

Today Africa is a small emitter, but it has a large and faster-than-average growing population and per capita income that could drive future energy demand and, if unconstrained, emissions. This paper uses a multi-model comparison to characterize the potential future energy development for Continental and Sub-Saharan Africa under different assumptions about population and income. Our results suggest that population and economic growth rates will strongly influence Africa’s future energy use and emissions. We show that affluence is only one face of the medal and the range of future emissions is also contingent on technological and political factors. Higher energy intensity improvements occur when Africa grows faster. In contrast, climate intensity varies less with economic growth and it is mostly driven by climate policy. African emissions could account for between 5% and 20% of global emissions, with Sub-Saharan Africa contributing between 4% and 10% of world emissions in 2100. In all scenarios considered, affluence levels remain low until the middle of the century, suggesting that the population could remain dependent on traditional bioenergy to meet most residential energy needs. Although the share of electricity in final energy, electric capacity and electricity use per capita all rise with income, even by mid-century they do not reach levels observed in developed countries today.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Calvin & Shonali Pachauri & Enrica De Cian & Ioanna Mouratiadou, 2014. "The Effect of African Growth on Future Global Energy, Emissions, and Regional Development," Working Papers 2014.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2014.28
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steinberger, Julia K. & Roberts, J. Timmons, 2010. "From constraint to sufficiency: The decoupling of energy and carbon from human needs, 1975-2005," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 425-433, December.
    2. Ekholm, Tommi & Krey, Volker & Pachauri, Shonali & Riahi, Keywan, 2010. "Determinants of household energy consumption in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5696-5707, October.
    3. Anton Eberhard & Orvika Rosnes & Maria Shkaratan & Haakon Vennemo, 2011. "Africa's Power Infrastructure : Investment, Integration, Efficiency," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2290.
    4. Richard G. Newell & Stuart Iler, 2013. "The Global Energy Outlook," NBER Working Papers 18967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Chakravarty, Shoibal & Tavoni, Massimo, 2013. "Energy poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation: Is there a trade off?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 67-73.
    6. Calvin, Katherine & Clarke, Leon & Krey, Volker & Blanford, Geoffrey & Jiang, Kejun & Kainuma, Mikiko & Kriegler, Elmar & Luderer, Gunnar & Shukla, P.R., 2012. "The role of Asia in mitigating climate change: Results from the Asia modeling exercise," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S3), pages 251-260.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    African Growth; Global Energy; Emissions;

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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