WEC: sustainable future dependent on energy industry support

The global energy industry must play a greater role in the transition to sustainable energy systems if the United Nations development goals are to be met, warns a report by the World Energy Council (WEC).

Launched today, the findings from the report show that it has become difficult to develop and implement long-term energy policies due to the lack of global consensus on climate change and a future energy system framework, coupled with dramatic disruptions caused by emerging technologies and rapidly shifting patterns of energy use and supply.

Findings of the WEC’s 2013 World Energy Trilemma report, Time to get real – the case for sustainable energy investment, are based on interviews with energy and environment ministers, leaders in development banks, governments, IGOs and NGOs, plus experts from more than 25 countries.

The report also shows there is an increased risk for industry and investors, which “must be addressed if the much-needed energy transition is to be delivered in the future”.

The potential for billions of people benefiting from sustainable energy systems in future decades hangs in the balance without increased private sector support, it adds.

Chairman of the WEC, Pierre Gadonneix, said: “I am encouraged that there appears to be a growing consensus among both industry and policymakers on the nature of the challenge and what needs to be done.

Executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma report, Joan MacNaughton, said: “If countries are to improve the sustainability of their energy systems, they must continue to work hard at identifying and successfully implementing balanced and forward looking policies. A more sophisticated and proactive partnership with the private sector is also necessary to drive the higher level of energy investment now required.

“For its part, the private sector needs to better understand how policy is made and how to contribute to it more effectively. It should also be more proactive in helping to build an informed consensus that moves us away from ad hoc approaches dominated by debate about short-term costs.”

Earlier this month, the WEC also called for more progress on unlocking the potential of energy efficiency to deliver energy and carbon savings.

Leigh Stringer

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