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.
Steven Chu: “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 launched the study in 2005 and commissioned 19 reports to inform seven energy workshops held in 2005 and 2006. The report underwent an extensive peer review monitored by Ralph Cicerone, President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and R.A. Mashelkar, President of the Indian National Science Academy, and incorporates the analysis and actions of leading global energy and development institutions, such as the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and the International Energy Agency.
Addressing the unequal access to energy and economic development experienced by one-third of the world’s population, Lighting the way calls for ensuring access to basic, modern energy services to the world’s poorest people as a necessary part of global energy development. The report concludes that it is in the best economic and societal interest of developing nations to “leapfrog” past the wasteful energy trajectory followed by today’s industrialized nations, and provides recommendations for how governments, industry and multinational agencies, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, can pave the way.
Lighting the way outlines 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 will inform 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.