The transition of energy systems


The urgency of addressing climate change is demonstrated dramatically by the 2018 Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Centigrade: and the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2018 among many national and international studies.

Since 62.9% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are caused by combustion of fossil fuels according to the 2017 EPA Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and similar results are true for most other countries, this project of the Climate Change Specialist Group will focus on the Transition of Energy Systems. It will work with its Members and other IUCN Commissions and organizations to facilitate greater effectiveness of energy use, greater conservation of energy and the transition to alternative clean, emission free energy sources.

Purpose and Activities

  • To prepare and undertake studies, publications, and workshops to share knowledge on transitioning to sustainable energy systems and reclaiming carbon through nature-based solutions with IUCN members, IUCN Academy members and other IUCN Commissions, as appropriate;
  • To organize an action program, as described below, to assist in the phasing out of all subsidies to promote the use of fossil fuel and to reduce reliance on fossil fuels;
  • To provide legal expertise to IRENA and its Navigator Project as it assists the development and promotion of renewable energy projects.

Action Program and Projects

  • Initiate a study with interested IUCN and IUCN Academy members and UN agencies on the advantages and means of reducing reliance on fossil fuels and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and the transformation to a sustainable energy system;
  • Publish a guide to successful transition programs and methods, with case studies, similar to the UNEP Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Laws;
  • Establish an internet billboard on which interested countries and municipalities can record references to their energy transition programs and scholars can post articles on transition.

For more information, please contact the project coordinators:

Ms. Raya Salter and Mr. Stuart Bruce.