What happens when low-carbon electricity supply technologies are deployed alongside energy efficiency technologies? The International Resource Panel's assessment looks at the impacts and benefits for people and the environment.

    The report

      Download the Full Report: EN
      Download the Factsheet: EN

      This report, the first international assessment of this type, investigates the life-cycle environmental and natural resource implications of large-scale deployment of energy efficiency technologies. The report examines more than 30 demand-side energy efficiency technologies across different technological clusters, including lighting, buildings, information and communication technology, efficient metals processing, high-efficiency co-generation, and transportation. In addition, the combined effects of low-carbon energy supply and deployment of efficient demand-side technologies under the 2 degree and 6 degree Celsius scenarios are assessed.

      Research confirms that demand-side technologies reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as many other environmental impacts. However, the magnitude of those improvements varies widely among technologies and regions. In some cases, demand-side technologies  may increase resource consumption and even greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is crucial to understand where, when, and with which technology investment should be placed to maximize benefits.

      • IRP (2017): Green Technology Choices: The Environmental and Resource Implications of Low-Carbon Technologies. Suh, S., Bergesen, J., Gibon, T. J., Hertwich, E., Taptich M. A report of the International Resource Panel. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.

      Copyright: Nick Starichenko/Shutterstock.com

      Did you know?

      Low-carbon energy technologies could avoid 17 million tonnes per year of particulate matter.

      Copyright: Tinny/Shutterstock.com

      Did you know?

      More than 200 billion cubic metres of water could be saved by low-carbon energy technologies.

      Copyright: Shutterstock.com

      Did you know?

      By 2050, low-carbon energy technologies will need 600 million tonnes of metal resources for infrastructure and wiring.

      Other reports