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Energy Sector Ready for Single Global Target for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: World Energy Council Report


The energy sector is ready for an ambitious climate agreement that sets an international framework with a single measurable target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the 2015 annual “World Energy Trilemma,” prepared by the World Energy Council, Oliver Wyman, and Marsh and McLennan Companies’ Global Risk Center.

According to the report, a standard that enables fair competition and sets a clear pathway toward low-carbon energy systems is needed. It is time, energy leaders noted, for climate negotiators to “get something done.”

While a global target for reducing GHG emissions will provide the long-term policy guideline for the energy sector, solutions to accommodate the transition will need to be devised at the regional and country levels in light of differing resources, economic structures, stage of development, and policy preferences.

The energy sector points to key measures that will support the development of a meaningful framework. Some of these mechanisms will require international cooperation, including trade and technology transfers, carbon pricing, and financing mechanisms. Other efforts can be implemented at the national level, such as national carbon-pricing mechanisms, demand management, and energy efficiency, but also research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) initiatives.

The lack of progress on an international climate framework has created a high degree of uncertainty in the energy sector, inhibiting the estimated US$48-54 trillion in investments needed to ensure secure, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy worldwide. In the “World Energy Trilemma” report, the energy sector calls for a clear roadmap on an internationally accepted target for reducing GHG emissions. The report also sets out five key enablers for a secure energy transition, including carbon pricing and a focus on research and development on low-carbon energy technologies.

Read or download the 2015 World Energy Trilemma.