New Commission to address energy shortfalls and climate change

world by numbersSeptember 28, 2016 – A new Commission has been launched to develop actionable insights to help energy decision-makers in their efforts to meet the twin objectives of economic development and climate change mitigation.

The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is comprised of eminent leaders drawn from various public and academic institutions and foundations, the World Bank Group, as well as from across the energy field including some of the world’s largest energy companies,  such as GE Oil and Gas, Royal Dutch Shell, RWE, aand Schneider Electric.

The composition of the Commission is global and diverse, as befits the demands of this global challenge: former and current national leaders, CEOs of major companies and distinguished thinkers on energy issues.

A positioning paper published by the ETC explores the need for the global energy system to change over the next decades and how that evolution is made up of many distinct, but inter-connected energy transitions.

Together, these have the potential to increase energy availability to meet the needs of over 9 billion people by 2050, to improve quality of life and to lift the poorest of these people out of poverty – all in a way that limits climate change to the 2 degrees Celsius threshold agreed by the international community.


Lord Nicholas Stern

Lord Nicholas Stern, one of key Founders of the Commission, said “Over the next 20 years the world will continue a very rapid and deep structural transformation with intense urbanization and strong increasing demand for energy at its core, particularly in emerging markets and developing countries.”

“Simultaneously the cities of rich countries and their energy systems are in urgent need of renewal and advancement,” he added. “How we manage this transition is therefore of fundamental importance. It has not been subject to the depth of analytical scrutiny that is necessary, thus this Commission is of great significance.”

Felipe Calderón

Felipe Calderón Chair Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Another Commission member is Felipe Calderón  who served as President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012 and is currently Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Also on the Commission is Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute and a past GLOBE 2014 Speaker.  he brings to the the Commission extensive experience in business and government having worked at Topell Energy, the European Climate Foundation, the Dutch parliament and Shell.

The ETC seeks to provide an independent ‘systems approach’ to the challenges faced by those who are tasked with making this happen.

The objective of the ETC is to help energy policy and investment decision-making meet the twin objectives of economic development and climate change mitigation. The decisions made in the next fifteen years will have lasting effects for decades to come.

Dr. Ajay Mathur, the incoming Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) based in New Delhi, said “Success for the ETC has at least three dimensions. The first dimension is a broad agreement – not a consensus – among the various members of the initiative about the key pathways that are important. The second one is our ability to provide the analytical support to convince various stakeholders – technology providers, bankers, policymakers – that these pathways are worth investigating. The third is the creation of the corpus of knowledge around which future discussions happen.”

The Commission’s work on energy transitions will encompass several different activities:

  • Provide a trusted, authoritative fact-base on the key debates;
  • Engage with energy policy and investment decision-makers and change agents on the challenges and opportunities they face on a daily basis;
  • Create an open learning community among thought-leaders and practitioners to accelerate the two-way flow of ideas and know-how between the worlds of research and practice, and between developing and developed economies;
  • Create public intellectual goods such as practical tools that support energy decision-making.

Commission Members

The founding members of the Commission can be found here.
A Positioning paper by the Energy Transitions Commission can be found here.


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