Clean Power

Published on June 19th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


Energy Sector Is Facing Increasing Pressure From Climate Change

June 19th, 2014 by  

A report published by the World Energy Council states that “the energy sector is facing increasing pressure from climate change”, adding that “all segments of the industry will be affected by the changing global climate and the policy responses to it.”

This is not new news to many, but the World Energy Council report — Climate Change: Implications for the Energy Sector — represents key findings from the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, arguably one of the most important international bodies working on Earth’s current climate issues.

“Climate change is certain to impact the energy sector,” said Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council.

We need robust and transparent policy frameworks to unlock the required long-term investments that are urgently needed to deliver the future we want. Leadership will be required at all levels. As we look to create resilient energy systems that meet the triple challenge of the energy trilemma the time has come to get real about the challenges facing the energy sector. There is no climate framework without national energy policy.


Infographic compiled by the World Energy Council (Click to Enlarge)

Several key points are drawn from the report;

  • Energy demand is increasing globally, causing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. The trend is set to continue, driven primarily by economic growth and rising population.
  • Climate change presents increasing challenges for energy production and transmission as a result of temperature increase, extreme weather events, and changing precipitation patterns.
  • Significant cuts in GHG emissions from energy can be achieved through a variety of measures, including cutting emissions from fossil fuel extraction and conversion, switching to lower-carbon fuels, improving energy efficiency, increasing use of renewables and nuclear, introduction of carbon capture and storage (CCS), and reducing final energy demand.
  • Strong global political action on climate change would have major implications for the energy sector.
  • Incentivising investment in low-carbon technologies will be a key challenge for governments and regulators to achieve carbon reduction targets.

As the Chairman of the IPCC says, “the energy sector has a critical role to play in the mitigation of greenhouse gases and in helping the world to adapt to the inevitable impact brought by climate change.”

Subsequently, the report aims to help business “understand the scale and urgency of the issues involved for the energy sector,” says Philippe Joubert, Advisory Board member for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Joubert adds that the report “should be seen as a call to action for the leaders of a sector which is responsible for over a third of CO2 emissions.”

The report can be downloaded here (PDF)

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

  • StewWho?

    If the lights go out as energy companies cannot supply enough power due to all this new legislation – will the tree huggers be happy when we all have to cut down forests to heat our homes?

    • vensonata

      If the cheese doodle companies cannot supply enough cheese doodles to obese waddling Americans will the tree huggers be happy when we have to fry up the leather from shoes to keep our waistlines robust?

    • LookingForward

      What the heck are you talking about….
      Energy companies allways get more then enough time to implement changes to conform to new legislation.
      Also, climate change is such a problem allready if your not a “tree hugger’ you are part of the problem and nowadays, the advantages cleantech gives, financially stupid.

      • StewWho?

        Guess i’m proud to be part of the problem then. I have seen no financial benefit at all from green initiatives. In fact, and please correct me if im wrong, but a green tax is added to many things such as flights, car tax and energy bills already.

        • vensonata

          Financial benefit? Is there any other value in your life?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Good comment.

            To Mr. Who – it takes a little while to get enough wind or solar onto the grid to create a price shift. Let’s take a look at what has happened in a country that is ahead of us….

            This is what has happened to the wholesale cost of electricity in Germany thanks to a rather modest amount of solar (but more than the US has installed to date).

            The midday price of electricity has dropped to the level of late night, lowest demand hours.

        • sault

          “…a green tax is added to many things such as flights, car tax and energy bills already.”

          Depends on where you live, and the term “green tax” is inaccurate and wholly simplistic. California and a few northeastern states (RGGI) operate a cap-and-trade mechanisms to reduce emissions . However, I actually got a REBATE from PG&E here in Cali as a result of climate change legislation. Put THAT in your exhaust pipe and smoke it!

          In addition, fossil fuel polution causes hundreds of billions of dollars in REAL damages to our economy every year:

          This amounts to a HUGE tax on our economy, so reducing these damages is actually a boon to economic growth. “Green tax” my foot!

          • Bob_Wallace

            Nix the allcaps stuff. If Stew can’t read and comprehend normal script then shouting isn’t going to get through to him.

          • Calamity_Jean

            If you want to add emphasis to your comments, try going here: for instruction on how to do it.

        • LookingForward

          I correct you:
          Germany Brasil Scandinavia and Australia
          And best example Japan: after Fukushima, Japan shut down all nuclear in the country, with the help of conservation, efficiency, renewables and some coal/gas plants they were able to cover all the energy loss, which was alot, like “more then half there energy demand” alot.

    • sault

      Nice strawman argument you made there! Just goes to show how illogical it is…

    • Leslie Graham

      I’m not sure what a ‘treehugger’ is but most of the world’s population, including the majority of the US, will be happy when we utilise the 0.001% of the solar energy that hits the US to provide all the power we can ever need – including enough electricity to power all the SUV’s you like.
      We already have the technology, we have the power source, we have the space and we have the money.
      Unfortunately we also have a small vocal army of mind-meltingly ill-informed meme parrots who don’t have a clue what they are talking about

      • Randall Mathews

        Wonderfully written comment: ‘mind meltingly ill-informed meme parrots’.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Unfortunately we also have a small vocal army of mind-meltingly ill-informed meme parrots who don’t have a clue what they are talking about”


          I expect I’ll get to use it in the support of goodness….

          It’s getting stored away along with “the VP of Outrageous Propaganda”.

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