Achieving a Sustainable Global Energy System

Achieving a Sustainable Global Energy System

Identifying Possibilities Using Long-Term Energy Scenarios

ESRI Studies Series on the Environment

Leo Schrattenholzer, Asami Miketa, Keywan Riahi and Richard Alexander Roehrl

Sustainable development and global climate change have figured prominently in scientific analysis and international policymaking since the early 1990s. This book formulates technology strategies that will lead to environmentally sustainable energy systems, based on an analysis of global climate change issues using the concept of sustainable development. The authors focus on environmentally compatible, long-term technology developments within the global energy system, while also considering aspects of economic and social sustainability.

Preface

Leo Schrattenholzer, Asami Miketa, Keywan Riahi and Richard Alexander Roehrl

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environmental economics, environment, asian environment, environmental economics

Extract

The world at the beginning of the 21st century must place the highest priority on constructing a sustainable socioeconomic system that can cope with the rapid ageing of populations in developed countries and with the limited environmental resources available in both developed and developing countries. At first glance, the problems of ageing and the environment may seem to be quite separate issues. However, they have a common feature: they both deal with intergenerational problems. The essence of the ageing problem is how to find effective ways for a smaller working generation to support a larger, ageing generation. The crux of the environmental problem is to find a feasible way to leave environmental resources to future generations. Moreover, in terms of consumption, slower population growth may slow consumption and help environmental problems. On the other hand, a rapidly ageing society may use more energy-intensive technology to compensate for the inevitable labour shortage, and deteriorate the natural environment by doing so. Today, these concerns are highly applicable in Japan. The pressure created by the rapid ageing of the Japanese population is becoming acute; Japan must construct a sustainable society that does not create intergenerational inequity or deteriorate the public welfare. At the same time, Japan cannot deplete its environmental resources and energy, which would leave future generations with an unbearably heavy burden. The government of Japan has recognized the vital importance of both problems. To explore and implement solutions for this difficult task, in April 2000 former Prime Minister Keizo...