The well-being of individuals, communities, and nations depend on the availability of energy resources. The gap between energy supply and demand appears to be growing, making the world vulnerable to serious economic shocks. At the same time the burning of fossil fuels relates to one of the vital challenges of international environmental policy: climate change.
Hence, the question of future energy generation is directly linked to security concerns. Fossil fuels are limited and their availability - especially in the future - will be significantly limited to politically unstable regions. Oil and gas reserves are unevenly distributed around the globe. Energy security and the prevention of distribution conflicts thus present a political challenge that will continue to increase due to the tremendously growing demand in various developing countries like China and India as well as high levels of consumption in industrialized countries.
So far, only rudimentary approaches exist for shaping climate and energy security in a sustainable way, while at the same time their interconnectedness is insufficiently recognized. The components of a strategy that can contribute to reducing climate-related as well as energy policy vulnerabilities include a greater role for renewable energies, the improvement of energy efficiency, and a stronger decentralization of energy supply. The latter is also central to reduce energy poverty that still prevails in many remote areas.