Global energy dilemma

It is no exaggeration to claim that the future of human prosperity depends on how successfully we tackle two central energy challenges facing us today; securing the supply of reliable and affordable energy and effecting a rapid transformation to a low-carbon, efficient and environmentally benign system of energy supply.International Energy Agency 2008

An increasing global population needs more resources but most resources are limited and exploitation has consequences.

There is an increasing demand for goods and services from a growing global population, especially those in developed countries.

The world's resources are being used up at an increasing rate. The consumption of resources is spread unequally between developed countries, who use more resources, and developing countries, who use less.

The growth of demand however, is rising in developing countries.

There is a triple challenge for the world:

  • to improve energy intensity
  • to reduce the carbon intensity of energy use
  • to achieve the above in ways that are equitable, secure and affordable

Change is necessary for a number of reasons:

  • fossil fuel energy scarcity
  • climate change policy
  • economic globalisation
Without energy there is no economy. Without climate there is no environment. Without economy and environment there is no material wealth, no civil society, no personal or national security. And the problem is that we have been getting the energy our economy needs in ways that are wrecking the climate that our environment needsJohn P. Holdren (Science Advisor to President Barack Obama)