Energy Seminar – week 2: Positive low energy futures – Energy demand reduction options for meeting national zero-emission targets in the United Kingdom

John Barrett - speaking in person and online

John Barrett, University of Leeds
John Barrett, Professor in Energy and Climate Policy, University of Leeds

Summary: In recent years, global studies have attempted to understand the contribution that energy demand reduction could make to climate mitigation efforts. I will present the bottom-up, whole-system framework that we developed for the UK to estimate the potential for energy demand reduction at a country level. Replicable for other countries, our framework demonstrates that the UK can reduce energy demand of 52% by 2050 compared with 2020 levels are possible without compromising on citizens’ quality of life.

Speaker: John Barrett is a Professor in Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Leeds.  He has a track record of leading research centres that have employed a range of modelling approaches to understand how changes in production and consumption can contribute to a low carbon future. John was the Director of the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP –, a £4 million initiative funded by the UK Research Council exploring how using material and products differently could contribute to the UK carbon targets. John is a Co-Director for CREDS. John has successfully led the largest collaborative project within CREDS to produce the first comprehensive national vision of the role of energy demand in meeting net zero emission targets. John’s research is applied in various arena having been an advisor to a number of UK Government departments, Government Select Committees and agencies such as the Committee on Climate Change. He has awarded an OBE in 2022 in recognition of the contribution his research has made to shape UK policy in the areas of climate change and resource efficiency.  John was also a lead author for the International Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III.

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