seven_megatrendsPubhished By:  Konrad Adenauder Stiftung  | 9.2012 |

Prepared by: Prof. Dr. Friedbert Pflüger |

Throughout history, energy has been the driving physical component of change; few other industries can claim to have had a more wide-ranging impact on other industries
and society in general. Thus, critical questions revolving around the supply and demand of energy as well as its sustainability will continue to represent one of the greatest
and most important challenges of the 21st century. Seven megatrends in particular will in all likelihood determine the global energy landscape and energy policy agenda in the
coming decades.


Diminished salience of global climate change policy

On 25 April 2012, at the Energy Dialogue of Hannover’s municipal utility company Enercity, the head of the renowned Potsdam Institute of Climate Research Hans Joachim Schellnhuber stated that the chances of the international community reaching a globally binding climate agreement stand at only about five per cent. This caused a noticeable stir among the participants. If even one of the world’s foremost supporters of climate protection makes such a prediction, the current state of the climate change debate must be dismal indeed!

And it seems that this may actually be the case. Without a globally binding agreement on climate change, the EU stands little chance of meeting its climate targets. In the
draft report on its Energy Roadmap 2050, the EU Commission succinctly states that “if coordinated action on climate among the main global players fails to strengthen
in the next few years, the question arises how far the EU should continue with an energy system transition oriented to decarbonisation”.1

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