Climate modellers want half the global economy cancelled


That’s what it amounts to, even if the phrasing is different. Scenarios based on theories of climate that aren’t borne out by reality are the curse of modelling. All they seem to come up with is impossible demand reduction i.e. much less of everything – except renewables of course. It can’t get any better while their built-in CO2 obsession persists.
– – –
Renewable energy transition won’t come fast enough to solve the climate crisis—we also need to reduce global energy consumption, according to new research from UNSW Sydney.

The research, published recently in Climate Policy, models different energy-use scenarios for reducing global energy-related CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, says Phys.org.

It found that simply substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy at current energy usage levels is no longer enough.

To keep global heating below 1.5°C—the level necessary to avoid irreversible damage—total energy consumption itself needs to halve over the next three decades based on 2019 levels. Furthermore, to keep temperature from overshooting a 1.5°C increase by 2050, global CO2 emissions must decline by about half by 2030.

Despite significant growth in renewable energy, it is being outstripped by the parallel increase in total energy consumption, primarily driven by growth in fossil fuels for areas like transportation and heating. And while energy usage did slightly decline during 2020 due to the pandemic, the demand has since returned.

“We have a situation where renewable electricity and total energy consumption are growing quite rapidly alongside one another. So renewables are chasing a retreating target that keeps getting further away,” says Mark Diesendorf, author of the study and Honorary Associate Professor at the School of Humanities & Languages, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.

“The research shows it is simply impossible for renewable energy to overtake that retreating target. And that’s no fault of renewable energy. It’s the fault of the growth in consumption and the fact that action has been left too late.”

It found that simply substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy at current energy usage levels is no longer enough.

To keep global heating below 1.5°C—the level necessary to avoid irreversible damage—total energy consumption itself needs to halve over the next three decades based on 2019 levels.

Furthermore, to keep temperature from overshooting a 1.5°C increase by 2050, global CO2 emissions must decline by about half by 2030.

Despite significant growth in renewable energy, it is being outstripped by the parallel increase in total energy consumption, primarily driven by growth in fossil fuels for areas like transportation and heating. And while energy usage did slightly decline during 2020 due to the pandemic, the demand has since returned.

“We have a situation where renewable electricity and total energy consumption are growing quite rapidly alongside one another. So renewables are chasing a retreating target that keeps getting further away,” says Mark Diesendorf, author of the study and Honorary Associate Professor at the School of Humanities & Languages, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.

“The research shows it is simply impossible for renewable energy to overtake that retreating target. And that’s no fault of renewable energy. It’s the fault of the growth in consumption and the fact that action has been left too late.”

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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April 30, 2022 at 04:04AM

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