12/9/22 Webinar: “The Challenge of Decoupling Energy Use from GDP: Recent Findings & Implications for Meeting the Paris Agreement Targets”

BPEI proudly hosted Advisory Board member and exergy economics expert Dr. Paul Brockway for a 1 hour talk full of insights. 

To meet our Paris / climate change targets, energy models assume a key role for energy efficiency to reduce energy use, in combination with a huge deployment of renewables. But is this blind faith in energy efficiency merited? Dr. Brockway examined historical global trends, and found there has been no global historical absolute energy-GDP decoupling, and yet this is a key assumption in the models. So, what is causing the disconnect between past and future assumed energy-GDP trends? Dr. Brockway explored the evidence for large economy-wide rebound as a plausible explanation, and found compelling support for this hypothesis. It also confirmed an under-recognised role for energy efficiency in enabling economic growth. So what can we do? Dr. Brockway closed by considering what we can do in response, covering modelling and policy actions.

Dr Paul Brockway is a University Academic Fellow in Energy and Economics at the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, UK. He has a 5 year research fellowship on the topicApplying thermodynamic laws to the energy-GDP decoupling problem’, where he applies an Exergy Economics approach to study thermodynamic energy conversion within energy-economy modelling frameworks.