What a Demand-Side Energy Transformation Entails for Ambition and Justice

Speaker: Narasimha Rao, Asst Prof of Energy Systems, Yale School of the Environment
Host: Energy Graduate Group
Date: 10/16/2020
Time: 10:30am to 11:50am
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Abstract: The energy transitions literature focuses on supply-side technologies to the neglect of demand-side options. I will present a vision of a global demand-side transformation, and show evidence from recent research in developing countries to indicate that there is considerable opportunity for mitigating climate change with equitable development. What underlies this vision is a focus on wellbeing rather than economic growth. Recent research derives energy demand from a decent living standards, the material prerequisites to wellbeing. This helps us understand that affluence, rather than basic wellbeing, drives energy growth and related climate impacts. The research also highlights new examples of wellbeing-enhancing mitigation related to cooling, diets and transit in the developing world.

Bio: Dr. Narasimha D. Rao is an Asst Professor of Energy Systems at the Yale School of the Environment. He also serves as a Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Dr. Rao’s research examines energy systems, climate change, poverty and inequality. He is particularly interested in the energy needs of human development, and the impacts of climate change and its mitigation around the world. He is a contributing author to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, and was a recipient of the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant for a project entitled Decent Living Energy – which examines the energy and climate impacts of poverty eradication in emerging economies. He was recently featured in the New York Times. He received his PhD from Stanford University in Environment and Resources, and has two Masters from MIT in Technology Policy and Electrical Engineering.

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