The latest research team to tackle the question thinks it is. Their key insight: a lot of current energy use isn’t really contributing to human well-being.

The amount of energy required to provide decent living standards for the entire world’s population is a fraction of the annual energy budget compatible with keeping climate change within 1.5 °C of warming, a new study suggests. It would take just 28%– 39% of the annual global energy budget in those scenarios to meet people’s basic needs. The findings are the latest piece of evidence that climate action isn’t in conflict with improving living standards around the world.

To reach that conclusion, researchers calculated the amount of energy required to meet basic needs such as housing, heating and cooling, food, water, sanitation, health, education, communications technologies, and transportation in different countries around the world. Providing a decent living for all the world’s population in 2050 would require about 156 exajoules (EJ) of energy per year, the researchers report in Environmental Health Letters . (One exajoule is equivalent to the amount of energy contained in 174,000,000 barrels of oil.) The energy  […]