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UCL Energy Institute Blog


Blogs by staff & students of the UCL Energy Institute


The power of reducing energy consumption is in our hands

By Catalina Spataru, on 19 June 2015

Setting a thermostat to cool in the summer.

Setting a thermostat to cool in the summer.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, which represents 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion. From this 32% of the world’s population represent Christians. The demographic study was based on an analysis of more than 2,500 census, surveys and population registers.

Also, Pew Research Center has published results on % who believe there is solid evidence that Earth is getting warmer 

In UK, a recent study on energy savings based on small changes the top six energy-saving behaviours (over a year) are:

  • Turn thermostat down by 2 degrees from 20C to 18C (33 TWh)
  • Turn thermostat down by 1 degree from 19C to 18C (16Twh)
  • Delay start of heating from October to November (11 TWH
  • Wear a thick jumper at home in the heating season (6TWh)
  • Replace standard shower head with a water efficient shower head and use twice every day (5TWh)
  • Use radiator valves to turn off heating in unused rooms (4TWh)

There are others also, such as: filling the kettle to the required level may only save 1TWh, while washing clothes at 40degrees or less may also save 0.4TWh.

Considering the fact that 84% of the world population is religiously affiliated, then if the church and his leaders get involve in campaigns to encourage and teach people to change their behaviour, we do have a chance of reducing the amount of energy we consume. The Pope Francis’ urge to change the richer world in terms of lifestyle and energy consumption to avoid the destruction of ecosystem could help scientists and politicians to tackle climate change.

Since religious principles are in relation to ethics in terms of calibration of resources at different levels from community to global, then we can also apply the various principles to human resource management activities. A partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change by changing people behaviour can help in reducing energy demand.

If we look at the polls, it shows that Pope Francis is one of the most trusted, popular people on the planet. Institutional region could help environmentalists, scientists and politicians through communication with people and teaching seminars to reduce energy consumption and change the way we use the resources. In meantime scientists can continue to solve problems related to water security, air quality, species loss and deforestation.

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