Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 22, Issue 6
Welcome to another issue of MEQ. Readers will find on this issue a further set of papers from different parts of the world, which showcase how matters related to environment quality management are being dealt with.
On this editorial, I would like to discuss the question as to whether energy efficiency improvement offset the climate impacts of lifestyle.
As technical efficiency improvement in energy use remains a touchstone measure to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there is substantial concern about whether this approach can offset the large and expanding impacts of human actions. Critics contend that without adjustments to prevailing consumptive lifestyles, energy efficiency improvement will generate only token reductions in GHG emissions.
A study performed by a team based at Ohio State University sought to address this concern by examining the extent to which technical efficiency improvement in energy use offsets the impacts of housing-related lifestyle on GHG emissions. The study drew on two perspectives: the physical-technical-economic models that consider energy efficiency improvement as a potent strategy to curb residential energy consumption; and the lifestyle and social-behavioural approach, which questions this view. The analyses revealed consistent positive relationship between lifestyle and energy consumption and indicated that energy efficiency improvement has mixed effects on energy consumption. Moreover, model-based figures suggest that technical efficiency improvement in energy use leads to slightly higher energy consumption if it is not accompanied by adjustments to lifestyle.
Matters related to renewable energy and energy efficiency are crucial to environmental management, and MEQ will be keen to promote such research and publish their outputs in the future.
Enjoy your reading!
Walter Leal Filho