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It is imperative to develop a low-carbon economy in order to meet two major challenges that our societies will be facing over the next decade: how to guarantee an energy supply (under threat from the increasing scarcity of oil resources), and how to meet the climate challenge. It is likely that the combination of these two constraints will lead to a “new industrial revolution” where priority will be given to low-energy consumption and competitive solutions, thus paving the way for new growth strategies in numerous economic sectors. The fight against climate change does not constitute a brake to economic development. This has been fully grasped by many emerging countries, the first being China. A full-fledged sector of industrial activities has come into being in just a few years; Chinese and Indian companies have now become major global players in the wind power, photovoltaic solar energy and electric car sectors. In Africa – a continent facing a formidable challenge for energy growth – the most competitive solutions are often renewable energy solutions (hydropower, cogeneration, geothermal energy) which come with cost prices that are much lower than thermal solutions. Finally, the Keynesian recovery plans implemented by developed countries in 2009 are all characterized by the will to make long-term investments for future generations and the certainty that sustainable growth will only be possible if our economies curb their carbon consumption.
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