THE POLICY IMPLICATIONS OF ECONOMY-WIDE REBOUND EFFECTS: INSIGHTS FROM A MACROECONOMETRIC MODEL SIMULATION OF CONCURRENT CLIMATE POLICY AND RESOURCE EFFICIENCY ACTIONS FOR GERMANY

Saturday 2 July 2011, 13:45 - 16:00

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Session: Special Session: Resource Efficiency (E.C. DG Environment)
Chaired By: Stephen White, EC DG Environment and Robin Miege, E.C. D.G. - Environment
When & Where: Saturday 2 July 2011, 13:45 - 16:00, Room TL
Presented By: Bernd Meyer, GWS mbh and University of Osnabrueck
Co-Author(s): Mark Meyer, GWS mbh and Martin Distelkamp, GWS mbh
Discussant(s): Luca Panzone, University of Manchester

Up to now research on rebound effects of resource efficiency improvements focused more or less exclusively on the use of energy. This might be easily understood as energy expenditures represent a significant share of private consumption expenditures and a necessary factor of production in most industrialised economies. However, these studies are very likely to underestimate the hazards of rebound effects arising from industrial resource efficiency improvements. Note for instance that in 2006 the energy share of total German manufacturing costs was below 2% whereas more than 40% of German manufacturing costs were allocated to material inputs. Thus, at least in case of Germany, rebound effects induced by an increase in industrial material inputs efficiency may be more important than those depending from industrial energy efficiency gains. Our macroeconometric simulation results indicate that the economy-wide rebound effects of improvements in German material efficiency range around 55%. This estimate challenges previous policy attempts aiming at decoupling economic growth from resource consumption growth. Nevertheless, our findings also indicate that even an absolute decoupling of resource consumption from economic growth appears possible as far as an ambitious combination of climate - as well as material policy objectives is implemented

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