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Trading Off Global Fuel Supply, CO2 Emissions and Sustainable Development

Author

Listed:
  • Wagner, Liam
  • Ross, Ian
  • Foster, John
  • Hankamer, Ben

Abstract

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Paris 2015) reached an international agreement to keep the rise in global average temperature ‘well below 2°C’ and to ‘aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C’. These reductions will have to be made in the face of rising global energy demand. Here a thoroughly validated dynamic econometric model (Eq 1) is used to forecast global energy demand growth (International Energy Agency and BP), which is driven by an increase of the global population (UN), energy use per person and real GDP (World Bank and Maddison). Even relatively conservative assumptions put a severe upward pressure on forecast global energy demand and highlight three areas of concern. First, is the potential for an exponential increase of fossil fuel consumption, if renewable energy systems are not rapidly scaled up. Second, implementation of internationally mandated CO2 emission controls are forecast to place serious constraints on fossil fuel use from ~2030 onward, raising energy security implications. Third is the challenge of maintaining the international ‘pro-growth’ strategy being used to meet poverty alleviation targets, while reducing CO2 emissions. Our findings place global economists and environmentalists on the same side as they indicate that the scale up of CO2 neutral renewable energy systems is not only important to protect against climate change, but to enhance global energy security by reducing our dependence of fossil fuels and to provide a sustainable basis for economic development and poverty alleviation. Very hard choices will have to be made to achieve ‘sustainable development’ goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Liam & Ross, Ian & Foster, John & Hankamer, Ben, 2016. "Trading Off Global Fuel Supply, CO2 Emissions and Sustainable Development," MPRA Paper 69941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:69941
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:1825-1858 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Goher-Ur-Rehman Mir & Servaas Storm, "undated". "Carbon Emissions and Economic Growth: Production-based versus Consumption-based Evidence on Decoupling," Working Papers Series 41, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    3. Paunić, Alida, 2016. "Brazil, Preservation of Forest and Biodiversity," MPRA Paper 71462, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:spr:bioerq:v:3:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41247-018-0035-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ringsmuth, Andrew K. & Landsberg, Michael J. & Hankamer, Ben, 2016. "Can photosynthesis enable a global transition from fossil fuels to solar fuels, to mitigate climate change and fuel-supply limitations?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 134-163.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy Economics; Environmental Economics; Development Economics; Climate Change; Carbon Emissions; Coal; Natural Gas; Oil; Wind; Solar; Economic History; Energy Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • Q35 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Hydrocarbon Resources
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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