Article: Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems

Authors: Kai Neumann and Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers

Abstract: Global climate mitigation requires a renewable energy transition. Du to interactions between energy demand and material use, improvements in material efficiency promise to contribute to climate mitigation. System dynamics modelling was applied to test four different scenarios toward a 100% renewable energy world to analyse such potentials. The model findings show that a 100% renewable energy world with zero greenhouse gas emissions seems feasible, but the chosen pathway matters. Material efficiency reduces emissions and increases the availability of secondary raw materials for renewable energy generation. However, only absolute reductions in energy demand through sufficiency-oriented lifestyles and sustainable choices in food, housing, and mobility seem to achieve the emission reductions needed to stay within 1.5-degree warming. International policies are needed to create equitable opportunities for decent lifestyles in a safe and just planetary space.

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