Trends in World Energy Demand in the Face of Possible Global Climate Change

  • Patrick Criqui


The possibility of global climate change has aroused renewed interest in long term energy consumption forecasts.Uncertainty with respect to these forecasts is great - the results of various studies concerning consumption in 2020varyby a factor of15, oreven2. Strategies aimed at controlling the emission of greenhouse gases can be based on substitution between fossil fuels, on energy production from non-fossil fuels and, especially, on energy conservation. The entire range of energy industries is likely to be affected by measures that respond to the risks of global climate change. The dynamics of international energy markets could be profoundly changed by the desire to limit consumption of certain types of energy sources; depending on the nature of the constraints applied, decreases in international market prices are possible. This paper provides a brief discussion of these prospects in the light of an examination of current oil markets and a retrospective analysis of energy trends and economic development in major regional groupings.(While the papers on these latter two subjects,in Part5 of Energie Intemationale 1989-1990,are not included in this ESR/EI Co-edition, abstracts of them are found on p.271 below.)