Date Apr 12, 2017
Type application/pdf
Author Copyright @United Nations Environment Programme, 2013
Description Energy is the lifeblood of the world economy. Energy interacts with all other goods and services that are vital for economies and the economic and functional reliance on energy is expected to further increase. In particular, global energy demand has been estimated to grow by more than one-third until 2035, with China, India and the Middle East accounting for 60 per cent of this demand increase (IEA 2012a). As highlighted in the Green Economy Report (GER) (UNEP 2011), the global community and national governments are faced with several challenges with respect to the energy sector. These include: Access to energy: Currently 1.3 billion people one in five globally lack any access to electricity. Twice that number nearly 40 per cent of the worlds population relies on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste to cook their food (IEA 2010a). 220 and Trade Climate change and emissions: Energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the main drivers of anthropogenic climate change, exacerbating patterns of global warming and environmental degradation. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil-fuel combustion are reported to have reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011 (IEA 2012b). Health and biodiversity: The processing and use of energy resources pose significant health challenges, pertaining to increased local air pollution, a decrease in water quality and availability, and increased introduction of hazardous substances into the biosphere (UNEP 2010a). For example, the inhalation of toxic smoke from biomass combustion can cause lung disease and is estimated to kill nearly two million people a year (IEA 2010a). Adverse health effects from energy use are aggravated by increasing instances of land degradation and deforestation, leading to a simultaneous loss of biodiversity. Energy security: The growth in global population and rising incomes will increase energy demand and result in upward pressures on energy prices and growing risks of importer dependency on a limited range of energy suppliers.

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