Beijing - An energy report released today (22 October) by the world's science academies has highlighted the need for sustainable energy projects to prioritise the basic energy needs of poor people.
The InterAcademy Council (IAC) — made up of 15 national science academies, including those from Brazil, China, India and the United States — stated in their report that the unequal distribution and use of energy between and within countries was a fundamental problem that the energy sector must address.
"The energy status of the poor should become one of the criteria to evaluate the progress of Millennium Development Goals," Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and co-chair of IAC, said at the launch in Beijing.
As a solution, the report urges developed countries to accelerate their transfer of clean energy technologies to developing countries.
It also suggests that newly constructed power plants should be built to incorporate future technology for capturing and sequestering carbon from fossil fuels like coal, because it will bring down the cost of managing carbon dioxide emissions.
The report identifies nuclear power as a major low-carbon energy resource for the future, and predicts that renewable energies like biofuels will create huge opportunities for technological innovation and tackling climate change.
The CAS also released a separate report on China's sustainable energy efforts, stating that the country must not increase its fossil fuel consumption by more than 50 per cent by 2050. It is widely assumed that China will reach this amount of growth by 2030.
The report acknowledges that China's fast economic growth and rapid increase of high-energy consuming industries will inevitably bring a dramatic increase in fossil fuel consumption.
The CAS report suggests renewable energy sources (not including hydropower) should account for 25 per cent of China's total energy portfolio by 2050.
"So far there is no report to clearly predict the scenario in 2050," said Lu. "Even if our report is only partially accepted by policymakers, it will dramatically reshape China's future, enabling it to develop a path towards a low energy consumption."