Green growth unravelled: how rebound effects baffle sustainability targets when the economy keeps growing
Green growth unravelled: how rebound effects baffle sustainability targets when the economy keeps growing / Tilman Santarius. Heinrich Böll Foundation, together with the Wuppertal Insitute for Climate, Environment and Energy, 2012, 26 p.
Although the causal link between increased energy productivity and increased demand has long been discussed in science now, rebound effects are still ignored in the majority of energy and climate studies and policies. Institutions such as the IPCC or the IEA assume in their scenarios and forecasts that most of the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved by means of efficiency improvements. This must be doubted, because rebound effects can constrain or in extreme cases even outweigh the savings potential of energy efficiency measures.
This paper explores the range of possible rebound effects, outlines their quantitative extent and describes the difficulties encountered by political efforts to contain them. It reveals that there is an urgent need for rebound effects to be taken into account in scientific scenarios and in policy-making.