Essay by Eric Worrall
According to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the “energy privilege” of nations like the USA will have to be “eradicated” to save the world from climate change.
Reduction of global inequalities in energy use necessary to stop climate change
Date:July 7, 2022
Source: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:A new study shows that existing climate mitigation scenarios perpetuate inequalities in energy use between the Global North and the Global South long into the future. These scenarios disadvantage the Global South and are therefore politically untenable, the study’s authors argue.
A new ICTA-UAB study shows that existing climate mitigation scenarios perpetuate inequalities in energy use between the Global North and the Global South long into the future. These scenarios disadvantage the Global South and are therefore politically untenable.
A just energy transition that keeps global warming below 1.5 or 2°C requires the wealthy countries in the North to reduce their energy use to sustainable levels of consumption, while allowing for a sufficient growth in energy use in the rest of the world.
These are the conclusions of a scientific study by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), conducted by researchers Jason Hickel and Aljoša Slameršak and published today in The Lancet Planetary Health, in which they call for the development of new climate mitigation scenarios that would achieve energy convergence between the Global North and the Global South, and thus gradually eradicate the energy privilege of rich countries.
“Much of this excess energy is consumed by forms of production that support corporate profits and elite accumulation, such as fast fashion, sports utility vehicles, industrial meat and planned obsolescence, which have no relevance to wellbeing,” emphasises Aljoša Slameršak.
In the analysed scenarios, African and Middle Eastern countries are assumed to have their energy use limited at their existing rates for most of the century, i.e., less than 30 gigajoules per capita per year. By contrast, the OECD countries and the rest of Europe are on average allocated energy well in excess of 100 gigajoules per capita per year for the rest of the century. Even though Latin America and Asia see some increase in energy use, their energy consumption amounts to barely half of what countries in the Global North consume in 2100.
…Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220707100922.htm
The academics don’t describe how they plan to convince rich countries to give up their energy privilege, though going by the absurd antics of rich nation leaders the last few years, maybe they think rich countries are on track to surrender their “energy privilege” without additional help.