Scientists are clear that Europe must significantly reduce its overall energy demand to meet the targets for carbon reduction necessary to limit climate danger. In its latest report on climate mitigation, the IPCC has, for the first time, included a chapter dedicated to reducing demand. This chapter concludes that calling for individual action is insufficient and that a society-wide approach is needed for significant impact, delivering up to 70% decarbonisation.
However, there is a dangerous silence on this matter within the public sphere. Politicians are hesitant to speak on this point, fearing the disruption that this will cause. However, disruption is an inevitable part of any economic change and there is still time to make a choice about the form this disruption takes. Avoiding the topic closes off all options around how to address the impacts.