Access to energy is a key pillar for human wellbeing, economic development and poverty alleviation. Ensuring everyone has sufficient access is an ongoing and pressing challenge for global development. However, our energy systems also have important environmental impacts. Historical and current energy systems are dominated by fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) which produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases - the fundamental driver of global climate change. If we are to meet our global climate targets and avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs a significant and concerted transition in its energy sources.
Balancing the challenge between development and environment therefore provides us with an ultimate goal of ensuring everyone has access to enough sustainable energy to maintain a high standard of living. We also need to understand global and regional energy systems: their evolution through time in terms of consumption, relative sources, and trade; progress in global energy access and our transition towards low-carbon sources; and crucially the main development, economic and health drivers behind the energy choices we make.
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