World Bank Study Finds Energy Intensity Reduction Contributes Most to Mitigation

World Bank4 November 2009: The World Bank has released a study on 100 countries' energy use, authored by Masami Kojima and Robert Bacon, which shows that growth of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and in population contributes the most to the net increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and that reducing energy intensity contributes the most to their net decrease.

The study, titled “Changes in CO2 Emissions from Energy Use: a Multi-country Decomposition Analysis,” looks at data from over 100 countries covering the period 1994-2006.  Key variables that define emission levels include the carbon intensity of the mix of fossil fuels, the share of fossil fuels in total energy consumed, the energy required to produce a unit of GDP (energy intensity), GDP per capita and population. The study indicates that reducing the amount of energy required to produce a unit of GDP, particularly in the service sector, has been by far the greatest contributor to curbing emissions growth. [The study]