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Moving Towards a Sustainable, Low Carbon-Intensive Energy Future: Key Challenges and Responses

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In late 2008 a Monash European and EU Centre sponsored conference – Securing Sustainable Energy Supplies in Europe and Australia: Policy-Makers, Business, Scientists, NGOs on Energy and the Environmental Challenge – brought together leading academics and policymakers from the European Union and several of its member States, Australia and Russia to engage in discussion and share their expertise on issues confronting energy markets worldwide. With the main focus being on climate change, a core set of issues emerged and constructive debate ensued. It became clear to all that establishing sustainable and secure energy markets will underpin any move by individual States and regions such as the EU towards low carbon intensive economies in the future.

The papers presented and discussed at that conference have since been reviewed and refined to take into account the various outcomes of the conference discussions and comments of referees. The chapters of this book now provide a comprehensive discussion of the diverse range of issues currently faced by energy markets around the world, within the context of global warming and climate change. In some instances, the analysis has been undertaken with respect to an individual country, such as Austria, Australia and Russia. In other cases, regional perspectives and challenges of the European Union have been examined.

Regardless of the differences between States and regions, all States are faced with the problems of over-reliance on supply and use of fossil fuels and resulting energy based greenhouse gas emissions. The need for innovative, wide-spread transformation of the ways in which energy is supplied and utilised is clearly articulated throughout all chapters in this book. By reason of this, the purpose of this concluding chapter is twofold. Key energy market challenges identified throughout this book are reviewed in accordance with the discourse in relevant chapters. Other chapters of the book identify a range of possible responses to dealing with the environmental externalities of energy supply and use. These are also reviewed in this final chapter.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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