October 13, 2015

UNEP DTU Partnership is pleased to release The Multiple Benefits of Measures to Improve Energy Efficiency. This report represents a unique effort where energy modelling has been combined with a comprehensive survey of twenty-five national programmes on energy efficiency. The report provides energy use and greenhouse-gas emission projections to 2030 globally and for G20 countries.

The report is released at a critical time in the climate change negotiations, as parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) submit their so-called intended nationally determined contributions. To meet the emission reduction commitments embodied in these ‘contributions’, UNFCCC parties will have to rely on all available mitigation options, with energy efficiency being a critical option.

The report, which was funded by the Danish Climate Envelope and written by the UNEP DTU Partnership, analysed the multiple benefits being delivered by energy efficiency programmes. The report confirms that well-designed programmes are worth undertaking for reasons as varied as improving human health and well-being, strengthening energy security, increasing employment and lowering emissions of greenhouse gases.

The report puts forward three main conclusions:

  • The efficiency with which energy is transformed, distributed and used is likely to improve, even in the absence of targeted policies to promote energy efficiency. Introducing such targeted policies could unlock much larger energy savings and associated benefits across economic, social and environmental agendas.
  • Monitoring the nature and extent of the benefits associated with energy efficiency programmes spurs the development of new programmes and helps improve their design. At present, most benefits, even the most politically-appealing ones, such as employment creation, are often not quantified.
  • Energy efficiency programme design should place additional emphasis on targeted information provision and capacity-building activities, as they are essential for overcoming barriers to energy efficiency. Such activities are often not prioritised and as a result lack the sufficient human and financial resources, which are indispensable to ensure that the programmes deliver their full potential.

For more on the report kindly contact Mette Annelie Rasmussen on meta@dtu.dk.