The governments of Brazil and China commissioned a report that lays out a ‘science, technology and policy roadmap for developing energy resources to drive economic growth in both industrialized and developing countries while also securing climate protection and global development goals’.
The full report, Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future, can be downloaded in PDF format here. If you only have time and inclination for a summarized read, I suggest you just grab Chapter 5, “The case for immediate action.”
There are nine conclusions in this section that outline the problem, make recommendations and suggest needed actions. Following are the titles of these nine conclusions:
- Meeting the basic energy needs of the poorest people on this planet is a moral and
social imperative that can and must be pursued in concert with sustainability objectives.
- Concerted efforts must be made to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon intensity of the world economy.
- Technologies for capturing and sequestering carbon from fossil fuels, particularly coal, can play a major role in the cost-effective management of global carbon dioxide emissions.
- Competition for oil and natural gas supplies has the potential to become a source of growing geopolitical tension and economic vulnerability for many nations in the decades ahead.
- As a low-carbon resource, nuclear power can continue to make a significant contribution to the worldâ€™s energy portfolio in the future, but only if major concerns related to capital cost, safety, and weapons proliferation are addressed.
- Renewable energy in its many forms offers immense opportunities for technological progress and innovation.
- Biofuels hold great promise for simultaneously addressing climate-change and energy-security concerns.
- The development of cost-effective energy storage technologies, new energy carriers,
and improved transmission infrastructure could substantially reduce costs and expand the contribution from a variety of energy supply options.
- The science and technology communityâ€”together with the general publicâ€”has a critical role to play in advancing sustainable energy solutions and must be effectively engaged.
It’s hard to argue with any one of these conclusions. The report in full is an important read for anyone interested in responding to the sustainable energy challenge.