CAT Decarbonisation Series

A Policy Spotlight on Energy Efficiency in Appliances And Lights Could See Big Climate Gains

Published: 23/03/2018

Energy efficiency in buildings is key to achieving early energy demand and emission reductions, in line with a 1.5°C long-term warming limit. Indeed, enhanced energy efficiency measures can tip the balance towards a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, as one of the main differences between 1.5°C and 2°C emissions pathways is that 1.5°C pathways reduce emissions faster in the building sector.

In this memo from its decarbonisation series, the Climate Action Tracker focuses on energy use for appliances and lighting, which today represent 55% of total emissions in the building sector, with the majority coming from the indirect emissions associated with electricity use. Reducing emissions from these end uses is a key contribution to decarbonising the overall building sector at the pace needed to achieve the Paris Agreement warming limit.

Lighting and appliance energy efficiency is not only key to compensating the expected increase in electrical energy demand3 by 2030 (+51% for appliances and +18% for lighting), it is also instrumental in supporting the transition towards a decarbonised energy system (with more and new electricity demand from electrification of transport and heating) and helping to achieve faster overall decarbonisation of the power sector as required for a 1.5°C pathway.

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Yvonne Deng
Climate Strategies and Policies