Demand-side strategies key for mitigating material impacts of energy transitions

Felix Creutzig*, Sofia G. Simoes, Sina Leipold, Peter Berrill, Isabel Azevedo, Oreane Edelenbosch, Tomer Fishman, Helmut Haberl, Edgar Hertwich, Volker Krey, Ana Teresa Lima, Tamar Makov, Alessio Mastrucci, Nikola Milojevic-Dupont, Florian Nachtigall, Stefan Pauliuk, Mafalda Silva, Elena Verdolini, Detlef van Vuuren, Felix WagnerDominik Wiedenhofer, Charlie Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

As fossil fuels are phased out in favour of renewable energy, electric cars and other low-carbon technologies, the future clean energy system is likely to require less overall mining than the current fossil-fuelled system. However, material extraction and waste flows, new infrastructure development, land-use change, and the provision of new types of goods and services associated with decarbonization will produce social and environmental pressures at localized to regional scales. Demand-side solutions can achieve the important outcome of reducing both the scale of the climate challenge and material resource requirements. Interdisciplinary systems modelling and analysis are needed to identify opportunities and trade-offs for demand-led mitigation strategies that explicitly consider planetary boundaries associated with Earth’s material resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-572
Number of pages12
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Environmental impact
  • sustainability

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