Å forveksle effektivitet med reduksjon: Et selvbedrag i energipolitikkken

Jørgen Nørgaard, Harold Wilhite

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterEducation


European energy policy must face that global reduction, or even stabilisation in energy use will not be achieved unless Europe and the other rich OECD countries aim at significantly curbing their energy services (heat, light, motive power, mobility and so on). The policy makers at the centre of the policy discourse on energy sustainability suffer from a form for self-deception which revolves around the equation of ‘efficiency’ with ‘reduction’ and ‘sustainability’, i.e., the untenable contention that technological and market efficiency alone will offset continued growth in energy services to the extent that deep reductions in energy use are possible. Many researchers and environmentalists seem to have, partly for strategic reasons, adapted to this view and thereby supported politicians in the self-deception. In this paper we use results from India and China, with more than one third of the world population, to show how there is likely to be dramatic increases in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in those countries over the next half-century. Much of this increase will be in conjunction with the development of basic services and infrastructure for homes, businesses, transport, health and public services, so that it is neither ethical nor even practical to argue for restrictions in overall energy growth in these and other developing countries. This places the onus for deep reductions in energy use on Europe, North America and the other affluent countries. The paper explores what such a change of focus would mean for policy and research agendas, and why there is friction to moving the policy envelope from ‘efficiency’ to also include ‘sufficiency’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMulighetsrommet : Årbok 2006, Stiftelsen Idébanken
EditorsJohn Hille
Number of pages120
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherStiftelsen Idébanken, www.idebanken.no
Publication date2006
ISBN (Print)82-91686-18-1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The article is a slightly abreviated Norwegian translation of an article by the same authors: Equating Efficiency with Reduction: A Self-Deception in Energy Policy (sysid 153 958), Translated and abbreviated by John Hille, editor


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