COMBI: EE not only saves energy and 360Mt of CO2 emissions, but also 150Mt upstream emissions and 850Mt of material resources.
The researchers quantified the material demand and greenhouse gas emissions from energy efficiency improvements as annual impacts in the year 2030, that result from energy efficiency actions throughout Europe leading to energy savings of about 8% relative to a reference scenario.
Energy efficiency is resource efficiency. More than 850 million tons of material do not have to be permanently removed from nature, if Europe implements energy efficiency measures in all sectors. As well, some 360Mt CO2eq of greenhouse gas emissions from direct combustion can be saved plus an additional 150 Mt CO2eq of upstream emissions from the energy provision chain.
Yet, there are also resource costs. As an example from the transport sector, roughly 51 million tons of fossil fuels could be saved from improvements in the transport sector alone, but some additional 18 million tons of metal ores are required to provide the necessary transport systems of the future.