Implications of a Low-Carbon Future
The world relies heavily on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, and the development and trade of those fuels has influenced relationships among countries throughout modern history. Most reasonable projections of the next several decades anticipate that the role of coal, oil, and gas will be maintained but lose market share to lower-carbon energy sources like wind, solar, nuclear, and greater efficiency. Despite the continued role for fossil fuels, the push for greater reliance on lower-carbon energy sources has made progress since it began in earnest several decades ago. Nearly $318 billion was invested in new clean energy sources around the world last year, up from $60 billion in 2004. Nearly half of this investment took place in large developing economies, particularly China but also Brazil, India, and South Africa.