The InterAcademy Council released a report last month 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 industrialized and developing countries while also securing climate protection and global development goals.
Lighting the way calls for immediate and simultaneous 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.
“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, 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.
Lighting the way was produced by a study panel of 15 world-renowned energy experts from Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, the US and other nations, chosen from nominations by over 90 academies of science around the world. The InterAcademy Council, representing the world’s leading academies of science, engineering, and medicine, appointed the panel that includes Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.