World's population in 2050 can consume less energy | Inquirer Technology

In 2050, world population can live decently with lower energy consumption — study

/ 07:01 PM October 05, 2020

20201005 Energy consumption stock

A British study shows that in countries that are today’s highest per capita consumers, cuts of 95% appear possible while still providing decent living standards to all. Image: Shutterstock/
PopTika via AFP Relaxnews.

British scientists have built an “energy-model” to evaluate the global population’s needs in terms of energy consumption by 2050. Their study showed that our global energy consumption could be reduced to levels roughly the same as during the 1960s, when the Earth counted around 3 billion inhabitants, and still provide a decent standard of living to all. But radical changes would have to be implemented in the meantime.

The team of researchers from the University of Leeds published their study in the Global Environmental Change journal. Their scientific model was based upon data and comparisons from 119 countries worldwide. They calculated minimum final energy requirements to provide decent living standards (such as heating, petrol, electricity and WiFi, among others) to the entire population, which is projected to be around 10 billion people in 2050.


The authors noted that achieving such consumption cuts can be possible, but would require radical changes in our current daily habits, especially in the West. Widespread deployment of advanced technologies would be necessary, as well as the elimination of mass global inequalities.


“We find that, with a combination of the most efficient technologies available and radical demand-side transformations that reduce excess consumption to sufficiency-levels, the final energy requirements for providing decent living standards to the global population in 2050 could be over 60% lower than consumption today,” read the study.

“Overall, our study is consistent with the long-standing arguments that the technological solutions already exist to support reducing energy consumption to a sustainable level. What we add is that the material sacrifices needed for these reductions are far smaller than many popular narratives imply,” stated lead author Joel Millward-Hopkins, who hails from the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds University. CC


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TOPICS: University of Leeds
TAGS: University of Leeds

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