CIED Director's work on ‘rebound effects’ cited in the latest IPCC Report
The work of Dr Steve Sorrell, Director of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, has been repeatedly cited in the latest report from Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report includes considerable coverage of the topic of rebound effects which Steve has worked on for many years. This term refers to a variety of mechanisms that reduce the energy and carbon savings from improved energy efficiency – such as people driving further in fuel-efficient cars because they are cheaper to run.
Rebound effects received only two brief mentions in the previous Fourth Assessment Report (2007), where a footnote observed that the literature was divided on their importance. In contrast, the Technical Summary of the Fifth Assessment Report devotes an entire section to this topic (p91), with further sections in Chapter 5 (p54), Chapter 8 (p 23), Chapter 9 (p 46-47) and elsewhere. This reflects the massive increase in research on rebound effects since 2007 – triggered in part by the publication of the UKERC review of rebound effects led by Steve. This review, together with Steve’s subsequent work on rebound effects, receives repeated citations within the Fifth Assessment Report and has clearly helped shape several of the conclusions.