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Academic Special Session: Energy efficiency, sufficiency, degrowth and justice: what are the prospects for a "sufficiency within limits" approach?

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The aim of this session is to bring together knowledge and experience from various European projects, countries and fields of work in order to define and discuss a "energy sufficiency within limits" approach for energy consumption with focus on households and communities. We define "energy sufficiency within limits" as consumption that ensures that everyone has access to a sufficient amount of energy for satisfying basic needs in a way that respects the ecological limits of the planet.

The session will start with four short presentations that outline the concepts introduced in the title of the session (i.e. energy efficiency, sufficiency, degrowth) as well as introduce existing knowledge, experience and practice related to energy sufficiency. We will first define energy sufficiency and discuss policy examples relying on work and findings from the EUFORIE project (European Futures for Energy Efficiency). This will be followed by the analysis of visions from the point of view of "sufficiency within limits" created through a participatory process in European countries in the CIMULACT project (Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon2020) to gain insights on what the current expectations of citizens are of a desirable and sustainable future. Then, we will provide an overview of what already exists in the field through a discussion of sustainable energy consumption initiatives collected and analyzed in the ENERGISE project with specific attention to initiatives including a reduction, degrowth and/or sufficiency element. Finally, we will examine the driving factors of energy poverty and the existing policy responses in the context of degrowth thinking, drawing the attention to the multiple potential tensions between domestic energy deprivation and degrowth.

The presentations will be followed by a discussion moderated by the organizers and presenters. During the discussion we intend to focus on the two questions listed below, but, of course, will also leave room for issues raised by session participants.
• What can we learn from these presentations and the knowledge and experience they represent for a "sufficiency within limits" path in household and community energy use?
• What are the concrete steps that we should take in research, practice and policy?

The organizers will take notes of the session and share them with session participants in order to allow for the continuation of the dialogue following the conference.

The discussion of issues related to energy poverty will feed into two pan-European actions, the European Energy Poverty Observatory and COST action European Energy Poverty: Agenda Co-Creation and Knowledge Innovation. The discussion of issues related to efficiency, sufficiency and degrowth will feed into the pan-European H2020 research project ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy).


Day: 2018-08-23
Start time: 16:00
Duration: 02:00
Room: Moriskan (Spegeln)
Track: Climate Change, Climate and Environmental Justice



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