World in Transition – Towards Sustainable Energy Systems
Flagship Report 2003
German Advisory Council on Global Change
- Full text, 242 pages (download as pdf, 4.1 MB), Earthscan, London, ISBN 1-85383-882-9, 242 pages, £ 60,00.
- Summary, 14 pages (download as pdf, 1.3 MB), ISBN 3-936191-02-6
To order the summary version please use the order form.
"The publication of 'World in Transition: Towards Sustainable Energy Systems' is timely indeed. The World Summit on Sustainable Development gave great attention to this challenge, but failed to agree on a quantitative, time-bound target for the introduction of renewable energy sources. The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has now produced a report with a global focus; this is essential in view of the global impacts of climatic changes. The report provides a convincing long-term analysis; this, too, is essential, for global energy policies must take a long-term perspective, over a time frame of 50 to 100 years, while providing concrete guidance for decision makers to be implemented now. There is an urgent need to identify paths by which to secure energy supply for the 2.4 billion people who still depend upon traditional biomass, while keeping clearly in view the need to combine this challenge with the prevention of perilous climatic changes. Our one world must close the gap between industrialized countries’ surfeit and developing countries’ poverty. Policies will need to consider both the broader environmental and specific climate exigencies. I recommend this book very warmly to everyone concerned with global energy issues."
Prof Dr Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1998-2006.
The report underscores the urgent need to transform global energy systems so that the world’s population has access to energy based on renewable sources. This is necessary in order to protect the global climate and to liberate 2.4 billion people in developing countries from energy poverty. Such an approach would also yield a peace dividend by reducing dependence upon regionally concentrated oil reserves. The scientists stress that such a reconfiguration of energy systems is feasible and fundable if rapid and resolute action is taken in the coming two decades. To this end, they propose a roadmap with specific milestones.