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Impacts of Global Warming on Energy Use for Heating and Cooling with Full Rebound Effects in Switzerland


This paper analyzes the impacts of the modified needs for space heating and cooling due to global warming on the quantities of energy used for space conditioning and overall. It thereby estimates direct and total rebound effects, the latter including changes in consumption and production triggered by changes in energy needs for space conditioning by households, services and industry. A computable general equilibrium model is used to simulate a range of climate and impacts scenarios for Switzerland over the period 2010–2060. We find significant welfare gains from reduced heating needs, exceeding largely the costs of the additional electricity needed for cooling. We also find large rebound effects. For instance, while the climate scenario A1b would allow households to reduce their consumption of fossil energy for room heating by 15.9 %, actual reductions are only 10.4%, which implies a direct rebound effect of 35 %. Economy wide, fossil energy consumption could decrease by 4.3% but does so only by 2.7%, which represents a total rebound effect of 37%.


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Author information

Correspondence to Camille Gonseth.

Additional information

Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. We would like to thank Anne-Kathrin Faust, Pamela Koellner-Heck and Roland Hohmann for their helpful comments and suggestions. We would also like to thank Florent Baume for his research assistance. Finally, we are grateful to the participants of the ETH CEPE lunch seminar in Energy and of the GTAP 2012 Conference for their comments and suggestions. Two anonymous reviewers are also gratefully thanked for their valuable comments and suggestions.

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Gonseth, C., Thalmann, P. & Vielle, M. Impacts of Global Warming on Energy Use for Heating and Cooling with Full Rebound Effects in Switzerland. Swiss J Economics Statistics 153, 341–369 (2017).

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  • JEL-Classification
  • C63
  • Q41
  • Q54


  • climate change
  • heating
  • cooling
  • computable general equilibrium model
  • Switzerland
  • adaptation
  • rebound effect