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 October 22, 2007
Lighting the way: Toward a sustainable energy future

 Amsterdam, Holland (Environmental Leader) - The InterAcademy Council has released a new report, commissioned by the governments of Brazil and China, identifying and detailing the scientific consensus framework for directing global energy development. Lighting the way: Toward a sustainable energy future lays out the science, technology and policy roadmap for developing energy resources to drive economic growth in both developed and developing countries while also securing climate protection and global development goals.

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) is a multinational organization of science academies created to mobilize the world's best scientists, engineers, and medical experts for providing knowledge and advice to national governments and international bodies, notably the United Nations and the World Bank. It was established in May 2000.

"Lighting the way: Toward a sustainable energy future" lays out the 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 report calls for immediate action in three areas:

  • Concerted efforts should be mounted to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon intensity of the world economy, including the worldwide introduction of price signals for carbon emissions.

  • Technologies should be developed and deployed for capturing and sequestering carbon from fossil fuels, particularly coal.

  • Development and deployment of renewable energy technologies should be accelerated in an environmentally responsible way.

Commissioned by the governments of Brazil and China, this report identifies a scientific consensus framework for directing global energy development. It lays out the 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 report was produced by a study panel of 15 world-renowned energy experts, co-chaired by Nobel Laureate Steven Chu, Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in the United States, and José Goldemberg, former Secretary of State for the Environment for the State of São Paulo, Brazil.

Lighting the way establishes the best practices for a global transition to a clean, affordable and sustainable energy supply in both developing and developed countries. The report addresses incentives that can accelerate the development of innovative solutions, provides recommendations for financial investments in research and development and explores other transition pathways that can transform the landscape of energy supply and demand around the globe.

In addressing mitigation of the environmental impacts of energy generation and use, Lighting the way informs global action on climate change, such as implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, agenda setting for the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and ongoing multinational talks on future global action to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Lighting the way also confronts the unequal access to energy experienced by the one-third of the world's population without access to basic energy services, and makes recommendations for addressing this disparity as well as for promoting national and global energy security.

"The 'business as usual' energy path we are on today is not sustainable and is counter to the long-term prosperity of every nation," said Nobel Laureate Steven Chu today, co-chair of Lighting the Way and Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

"This report stresses the urgency of the energy problem, and then goes on to describe technologies that can be applied today, needed scientific and technological innovations, and policy tools that could be used to help policy makers guide their countries toward a more prosperous, secure and environmentally sound energy future."

Lighting the way recommends that governments, united in inter-governmental organizations, should agree on realistic price signals for carbon emissions, recognizing that the economics and energy systems of different countries will result in different individual strategies and trajectories.

The report is available on line in both html and PDF formats.


Source: Environmental Leader.