Let’s briefly review what we’ve covered so far in my rebound series:
- Climate change means we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a lot, beginning immediately.
- There are two ways to reduce GHG emissions from energy: increase low-carbon energy supply and/or decrease total energy consumption.
- Ramping up clean energy supply can’t be done fast enough to keep us within our carbon budget, certainly not in the short- to mid-term, if at all. So we’ve got to use less energy.
- There are two ways to reduce energy demand: reduce the energy intensity of the global economy and/or reduce the growth of the global economy.
- Substantially reducing global energy intensity turns out to be extremely difficult, thanks in part to the rebound effect.
- If energy intensity can’t be reduced quickly enough, then the only answer left (other than failing to stabilize global temperature at all) is slowing GDP growth. Yikes.