Western societies and lifestyles have led to the use of enormous amounts of energy to heat and cool buildings, eat, move, etc. If all of humanity lived like an average European, it would take three planets to meet its needs . This excessive consumption is a source of pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases that affect the climate and endanger the conditions of life on Earth. This consumption trend, the global climate emergency, geopolitical instability and now the energy crisis stemming from the invasion of Ukraine, require new mechanisms to accelerate the transition towards a Climate-neutral Europe.

Energy efficiency, generation from renewable sources and, more recently, energy flexibility have been the elements on which recent sustainability policies aimed at neutrality. However, this has proven not to be enough to enable deep decarbonization. Therefore, to address the problem of excessive consumption, it seems necessary to combine technological solutions with changes in lifestyle and behavior labeled under the term “sufficiency” or “sobriety” The term “sufficient” means “as much as is needed” or “the quality of being good enough”. In the context of energy consumption, ‘sufficiency’ relates to levels of consumption that provide a decent life, without jeopardizing endangers the carrying capacity of the planet. the-energy-crisis_Leuser_EN.pdf”>the greenest energy is the one we don’t use.

In this context, the SER (Sufficiency, Efficiency, Renewables) framework should be implemented, where sufficiency should be considered the key additional lever for a complete and fair energy transition. The three pillars of the SER framework include (i) sufficiency policies, which address the causes of environmental impacts of human activities by avoiding demand for energy services and their related materials, (ii) efficiency, which addresses the symptoms of environmental impacts of human activities by reducing energy consumption in the use phase, and (iii) renewable sources, which address the consequences of the environmental impacts of human activities by reducing GHG emissions.

Expanding the current framework driven by efficiency and renewables to sufficiency is not new. The French NGO Negawatt developed, in 2003, the first energy scenario that includes sufficiency measures. This scenario was the first to achieve a drastic reduction in energy demand. Europe has currently begun to take measures to save energy at the risk of gas shortages this winter. Germany and Spain are among the first EU countries to impose restrictions and France is already proposing an “Energy sobriety plan”. This paradigm shift can provide immediate geopolitical, climate and economic benefits, as well as saving on fossil fuels. Key strategy in the situation of war and dependency in which the European continent finds itself.

More information at: ENERGY SUFFICIENCY, CACTUS, FULFILL, 1.5 Lifestyles , PSLifestyle, 4i-TRACTION  CAMPAIGNers, LOCOMOTION.