Research press release


Nature Energy

Climate cannot be saved by pursuing energy independence



Jessica Jewellたちは、一連の最新の全球エネルギー経済モデルを用いて、エネルギー自給政策が排出量に及ぼす影響、エネルギー自給政策や気候政策がエネルギーシステムにもたらす可能性のある変化、それぞれの政策を実行する際の比較費用を評価している。その結果、気候変動と戦えばエネルギー輸入が縮小するが、エネルギーの自給を追求しても、温室効果ガスはあまり削減されない(2~15%)ことが分かった。さらに著者たちは、エネルギー輸入を抑えれば、化石燃料の使用量とエネルギー需要が削減されると思われるが、再生可能エネルギーの利用は普遍的には増加しない可能性があることも示している。


同時掲載のNews & Views記事で、Vaibhav Chaturvediは、「Jewellたちの今回の研究は、気候政策目標の追求とエネルギー供給の確保の間のバランスを取ることを理解するのに非常に有益な貢献である」と述べている。

Although cutting carbon emissions can lead to energy security benefits, such as reducing energy imports, pursuing energy independence will not equivalently reduce emissions, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Energy. The analysis of the links between energy security and climate change policies highlights that emissions reductions targets are unlikely to be achieved by solely seeking policies that make nations more energy-independent.

Energy security is frequently considered to be a co-benefit of pursuing climate change mitigation policies. The opposite - that pursuing energy security can bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions - is often claimed to be true as well.

Jessica Jewell and colleagues employ a series of state-of-the-art global energy-economy models to assess the impact of energy independence policies on emissions, the likely changes that energy independence or climate policies will have on the energy system, and the comparative costs of implementing either. They find that combatting climate change will lead to lower energy imports, but that ensuring energy independence will lead to only modest (2-15%) cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. They also show that constraining energy imports would cut fossil fuel use and energy demand, but may not universally increase the use of renewables.

Finally, the authors show that energy independence could be achieved at a comparable cost to meeting existing emissions reductions pledges, but at a fraction of the cost of limiting global warming to 2 °C. They conclude that more careful analysis of the relative costs of different policy objectives is required when the likely co-benefits of climate policies are discussed.

In an accompanying News & Views article, Vaibhav Chaturvedi writes: "The study by Jewell and colleagues is a very useful contribution to understanding the balancing act between pursuing climate policy goals and securing energy supply."

doi: 10.1038/nenergy.2016.73


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