Abstract: Sustainable Development and the Energy Transition

Sustainable development is defined by the United Nations as “meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability defines a framework of the economic, environmental and social factors that need to be balanced with energy development. It is a system or lifecycle concept and not a stand-alone property.

Sustainable development is defined by the United Nations as “meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability defines a framework of the economic, environmental and social factors that need to be balanced with energy development. It is a system or lifecycle concept and not a stand-alone property.  When we speak of the “energy transition” and broadly defined terms such as “carbon intensity,” “decarbonization” and “net-zero emissions,” we need to account for present-day energy realities, as well as the consequences of energy choices on the future.

Pressure to make energy more sustainable is driving financial investments, business models and technology. Investment companies have established criteria for sustainability or ESG ratings that highlight the value of sustainable investing. Petroleum companies are addressing sustainable development with exploration and development projects and broadening into energy companies with investments in carbon capture, geothermal and low carbon fuels. Technology and innovation are essential to sustainable energy development and are improving extractive industry practices and alternative energy efficiencies.

All energy projects are dependent on access to resources, be they fossil fuels, critical minerals for energy storage or land use for biomass. Geoscientists play a pivotal role in understanding the resources, risks, and rewards of each. Sustainable development is more than a framework to provide energy. On a personal level it reflects our values. On a community level it affects deep-rooted energy cultures. And on a global level it affirms our commitment to both people and the planet.

Distinguished Lecturer

Denise

Denise Cox

Storm Energy, President

Video Presentation

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