Toward an Integrated Approach to Energy Sustainability

McCollum, D. (2012). Toward an Integrated Approach to Energy Sustainability. In: Worlds Within Reach: From Science To Policy - IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference, 24-26 October 2012, Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna and IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria.

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This talk focuses on three key energy sustainability objectives: energy security improvement, climate change mitigation, and the reduction of air pollution and its human health impacts. We explain how the common practice of narrowly focusing on singular issues ignores potentially enormous synergies, quite often leading to the implementation of short-sighted solutions that may have unnecessarily costly, long-term consequences. A paradigm shift toward more holistic policy approaches supported by a new generation of integrated decision-making tools is thus needed. These tools merit a reconsideration of the traditional, fragmented energy policy framework. Our analysis of a large ensemble of alternate energy-climate futures, developed using MESSAGE, an integrated assessment model with considerable technological detail of the global energy system, shows that climate change policy offers a strategic entry point along the path to energy sustainability in several dimensions. Decarbonization will lead to improved air quality, thereby reducing energy-related health impacts worldwide. At the same time, low-carbon technologies and energy-efficiency improvements can help to further the energy security goals of individual countries and regions by promoting a more dependable, resilient, and diversified energy portfolio. The cost savings of these climate policy synergies are potentially enormous.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 12:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:26

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