IEI Newsletter No.17, August 2012

1 de agosto de 2012

IEI Newsletter

August, 2012




Dear reader,

This special issue of the International Energy Initiative (IEI) newsletter brings a huge effort made by more than 500 energy experts worldwide: the Global Energy Assessment – GEA. This effort provides 41 energy scenarios in order to shift the current social, environmental and economical unsustained energy pathway.

GEA is highly reccomended and worth reading to those who view energy not as an end in itself, but as an instrument of sustainable development.


Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future

Leading energy experts assert that a radical transformation of the present energy system will be unquestionably required over the coming decades for the sake of the sustainability of the planet. And that to achieve sustainable development all the needed attributes of energy services, that is availability, affordability,  access,  security,  health,  climate  and  environmental  protection,  must  be  met  concurrently.

Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future – Key Findings

These recognitions were the starting point of the report Global Energy Assessment (GEA), released during Rio+20, which brings broad and integrated analyses to identify comprehensive solutions to global energy challenges.

GEA is another major, in-depth, collaborative effort urging for action. Involving more than 300 international energy experts and an additional 200 independent reviewers, GEA examines future energy pathways that point to new solutions to meet six aspirational goals:

  • Provide clean and affordable energy services for all
  • Stabilizing global climate change at 2°C above pre-industrial levels 
  • Enhanced energy security for all jurisdictions (nations, regions, and communities)
  • Eliminating household and ambient air pollution
  • Universal access to modern energy services by 2030, and
  • Reduction of ancillary risks associated with some energy systems

Therefore, GEA brings to policymakers more than forty possible scenarios that meet these goals, establishing a benchmark for current understanding of the options for building a sustainable future for the energy system.

More than just a report

GEA consists of more than just a report. Analytical tools and databases have been developed to help translate the Assessment into actionable findings. Tools for decision making, that include global and regional scenarios, can be used to develop policy choices to address country-specific problems.

A series of briefings will be held around the world in the latter half of 2012 to present regional perspectives and specific policy findings to government, industry and media representatives.

According to the GEA co-president, Jose Goldemberg, a “special event to launch GEA is being planned for London in the fall”.

The Technical Summary, Summary for Policy Makers and Key Findings are available for download (click here). The complete 1900 page report is available from Cambridge University Press.

More on the briefings will be available via the IIASA website as they are organized. Interested journalists can be notified of these events by sending a reply email to

Outreach already started

Outreach has already produced results. The early findings of GEA were presented at the Vienna Energy Forum in June 2011, importantly the 2030 stretch targets offered by the Global Energy Assessment:

  • Ensuring universal access to moderns forms of energy for all
  • Doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement, and
  • Doubling the share of renewable in final energy

They are reflected in the action plan of the UN Secretary General‘s initiative “Sustainable Energy for All”.

The urge to act

Energy ’s importance to sustainable development was first recognized at multilateral level in the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Energy is recognizably transversal to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, an ambitious set of quantified development targets to be met by 2015 which were agreed by the international community during the Millennium Summit in 2000.

The ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-9) in 2001 was an important landmark in the process leading to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in reaching a consensus that the current energy situation is not sustainable.

The urge of acting to change the energy paradigm characterized by uninterrupted reliance on fossil fuels and the ways we use energy into “energy systems that lead to a more equitable, environmentally sound, and economically viable world” dates back to the World Energy Assessment published in 2000.

In 2002, the follow-up to the World Energy Assessment, Energy for Sustainable Development: A Policy Agenda, urges that “a huge increase in the scale, pace, and effectiveness of policy initiatives and measures will be required to shift energy systems and services to support sustainable development and to achieve the MDGs”.

The update of the World Energy Assessment in 2004 once more stated that “more than ever there is urgency to take decisions and implement energy options that accelerate the shift towards sustainable development”.

Now, with the launch of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA) in Rio+20, that urgency is still relentlessly called for. Time to act.

Read more



As with 2000 and 2004 World Energy Assessments and 2002 Policy Agenda, IEI Board Members and officers were involved in GEA with the following roles: Jose Goldemberg (Council Co-President o GEA); Thomas B. Johansson (Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of GEA); Stephen Karekezi, Eric D. Larson and Wim C. Turkenburg (Members of the Executive Committee of GEA and Convening Lead Authors of specific chapters of GEA).

Mrs. Rangan Banerjee and Kirk R. Smith, members of the Editorial Board of IEI’s journal Energy For Sustainable Development, also participated as Leading Authors in GEA.

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