Global Energy Demand in a Warming Climate

54 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2016 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by Enrica De Cian

Enrica De Cian

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Ian Sue Wing

Boston University

Date Written: March 8, 2016


This paper combines an econometric analysis of the response of energy demand to temperature and humidity exposure with future scenarios of climate change and socioeconomic development to characterize climate impacts on energy demand at different spatial scales. Globally, future climate change is expected to have a moderate impact on energy demand, in the order of 6-11%, depending on the degree of warming, because of compensating effects across regions, fuels, and sectors. Climate-induced changes in energy demand are disproportionally larger in tropical regions. South America, Asia, and Africa, increase energy demand across all sectors and climate scenarios, while Europe, North America and Oceania exhibit mixed responses, but with consistent reductions in the residential sector. Even so, only Europe and Oceania in the moderate warming scenario experience aggregate reductions in energy use, as commercial electricity use increases significantly. We find that climate change has a regressive impact on energy demand, with the incidence of increased energy demand overwhelmingly falling on low- and middle-income countries, raising the question whether climate change could exacerbate energy poverty.

Keywords: Panel Data, Climate Change, Adaptation, Energy

JEL Classification: N5, O13, Q1, Q54

Suggested Citation

De Cian, Enrica and Sue Wing, Ian, Global Energy Demand in a Warming Climate (March 8, 2016). FEEM Working Paper No. 016.2016, CMCC Research Paper No. 266, Available at SSRN: or

Enrica De Cian (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Campo S. M. Formosa, Castello 5252
Venice, 30122

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100

Ian Sue Wing

Boston University ( email )

United States

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