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Low Hanging Fruit

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Abstract

In the energy field, picking the ‘low hanging fruit’ means taking measures that are simple to implement and that generate quick returns in terms of carbon and energy demand reduction. In taking this term seriously and in taking it apart this chapter shows how the language of low hanging fruit situates and frames both the problem and the politics of energy demand reduction. As described, the phrase reproduces and reinforces a distinctly technocratic approach that bypasses fundamental questions about what energy is used for in society, and how this changes over time. Other metaphors – including references to fungi – could be developed in support of more subtle and more integrated accounts of how energy policies, technologies and patterns of demand affect each other.