Energy Efficiency the Key to the Fight Against Climate Change

Published on Wednesday, 31 December 2014

According to a new study written by top American academics, the diffusion of energy efficiency technology is one of the best ways of controlling and reduce carbon dioxideemissions. An Assessment of the Energy-Efficiency Gap and Its Implications for Climate-Change Policywas written by Richard G. Newell from Duke University with Todd Gerarden, Robert N. Stavins and Robert C. Stowe from Harvard University as part of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, a collaborative initiative between Harvard University and the Enel Foundation

To emphasise the importance of promoting energy efficient technologies that cut consumption and cost, the study was placed at the heart of a side event was organised by Enel Foundation in collaboration with the HPCA and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) at the COP20climate change summit held in Lima in December.

The objective of the event, entitled The Implications of the Energy-efficiency Gap for Reducing Greenhouse-gas Emissions, was to identify what hinder the diffusion of tools and innovations that reduce fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and aid the fight against climate change.

According to the study's data energy efficient technologies help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent, compared to a 26 percent reduction from renewable energy and Carbon Capture & Storage, the process used in coal power plants to minimise CO2 emissions.

The authors of the study state that global policies that encourage the adoption efficient and innovation tech both among the people and within production systems need to be adopted, policies that highlight the positive impact on everyday costs these technologies have on households and businesses. Other important methods include research and development incentives, the adoption of efficiency standards aimed at the development of technologies and the supplying of clear and detailed information. This is the only way that energy efficiency can be effective in the fight against climate change.

The side event in Lima was attended by the study's co-authors Stavins and Newell, Andreas Löschel from ZEW, Daniele Agostini from the Enel Group and Jesús Tamayo Pacheco, thePresident of Peru's Supervisory Agency for Investment in Energy and Mining.