Creutzig, F., Simoes, S., Leipold, S., Berrill, P., Azevedo, I., Edelenbosch, O., Fishman, T., Haberl, H., Hertwich, E., Krey, V., Lima, A., Makov, T., Mastrucci, A., Milojevic-Dupont, N., Nachtigall, F., Pauliuk, S., Silva, M., Verdolini, E., van Vuuren, D., Wagner, F., Wiedenhofer, D., Wilson, C.

Demand-side strategies key for mitigating material impacts of energy transitions

in Nature Climate Change, 04.06.2024

Peer Review , Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport

As fossil fuels are phased out in favour of renewable energy, electric cars and other low-carbon technologies, the future clean energy system is likely to require less overall mining than the current fossil-fuelled system. However, material extraction and waste flows, new infrastructure development, land-use change, and the provision of new types of goods and services associated with decarbonization will produce social and environmental pressures at localized to regional scales. Demand-side solutions can achieve the important outcome of reducing both the scale of the climate challenge and material resource requirements. Interdisciplinary systems modelling and analysis are needed to identify opportunities and trade-offs for demand-led mitigation strategies that explicitly consider planetary boundaries associated with Earth’s material resources.