Felix Creutzig: "Demand-side solutions to climate change mitigation"
November 15 | 13:00
Mitigation solutions are often evaluated in terms of costs and greenhouse gas reduction potentials, missing out on considering direct effects on human wellbeing. Here, we systematically assess the mitigation potential of demand-side options, categorized into avoid, shift and improve, and their human wellbeing links. We show that these options, bridging socio-behavioral, infrastructural and technological domains, can reduce counterfactual sectoral emissions by 40-80% in end use sectors. Based on expert judgement and an extensive literature database, we evaluate 306 combinations of wellbeing outcomes and demand side options, finding largely beneficial effects in improving wellbeing (79% positive, 18% neutral, and 3% negative), even with low confidence on the social dimensions of wellbeing. Implementing such nuanced solutions is based axiomatically on an understanding of malleable not fixed preferences, and procedurally on changing infrastructures and choice architectures. Results demonstrate high mitigation potential of demand-side mitigation options that are synergistic with wellbeing.
Felix Creutzig coordinates a chapter on demand, services and social aspects from the upcoming assessment report on climate solutions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is Professor for Sustainability Economics of Human Settlements at the TU Berlin, and Group Leader at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and had been visiting fellow at Princeton University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Energy Foundation in Bejing. His groundbreaking research on climate change mitigation on urban scale has been recognized by the Piers Sellers Prize of the University of Leeds in 2017. Felix had been fellow of the Studienkolleg zu Berlin and also served as president of Netzwerk Europa, its alumni organization.
Gilles.Lepesant ( at ) sciencespo.fr