IUCN President outlines approaches for a more sustainable energy future

16 March 2009 | News story
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Ashok Khosla, IUCN President, presented his vision for how to get to a sustainable energy future at the inaugural Energy Pact Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the session on Needs and constraints for a global solution, Ashok presented on development issues. He outlined four approaches to getting to a more sustainable energy future

  • rated – basically tinkering with existing systems…the approach of many in the energy establishment
  • potential – changing performance within existing technologies such as buying a more fuel efficient car
  • latent – switching to new technologies which deliver the same sorts of needs, such as using public transport) and
  • systemic – changing the way our societies are structured and working to eradicate the inefficiencies, such as reducing the need for transport altogether.

He pointed out that current structures are not delivering equity or prosperity to the vast majority of the population and, indeed the gap between rich and poor is widening. Looking back to the Club of Rome, which found repeated examples of overshoot and collapse in systems, Ashok made the case for seeking what he called disruptive technologies (such as those based on the principles of biomimicry) which could get us to factor 50 efficiencies.
 


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