Our world has come to a turning point in energy consumption. On the one hand, demand for energy will continue rising as the world population increases and new economies emerge : according to the World Energy Outlook figures, energy demand should increase by 1/3rd by 2035. On the other hand, our primary sources of energy, like fossil fuels, are not only limited but also have devastating effects on the environment. Many parts of the world are already experiencing the threat of global warming. According to the International Energy Agency, we have to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 to prevent going over the 2°C increase limit that 100 countries have agreed on in 2009. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaves no doubt: drastic measures have to be taken now in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Now more than ever do we need an Expo dedicated to Energy to foster discussion and cooperation. With its theme "Future Energy", Expo Astana 2017 aims at creating a global debate between countries, NGOs, companies and the general public on the crucial question "how do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?"
To tackle this issue, Astana 2017 has identified 3 subthemes that present an overview of the state of energy today, and showcase sustainable solutions and technological innovations:
1. Reducing CO2 emissions
Developing low carbon energy technologies and reducing energy demand can reduce CO2 emissions. Solutions such as carbon capture and storage, the production of renewable technologies, the use of hydrogen, the development of nuclear fusion technology and more will be showcased, explained and experienced during Expo Astana 2017.
2. Living energy efficiency
Energy efficient technologies, education, behavior, policies and regulations can have a strong impact on the way energy is consumed. The Expo will present solutions and best practices for a sustainable use of energies.
3. Energy for all
Energy is a basic need and a human right. It is "essential for sustainable development and for combatting poverty" says the UNDP. However, 20% of the world population doesn't have access to electricity and 40% still uses biomass for cooking. It is estimated that 36 billion dollars would allow the implementation of clean installations for electricity and cooking all over the world. Expo Astana will showcase the solutions that could be developed in the least electrified regions of the world, such as decentralized energy systems.
All participants (countries, NGOs, companies etc.) that will have an exhibition space inside the Expo will have to address the theme by choosing between at least 2 of the following perspectives:
- Scientific research on future energy
- Cutting edge technology
- Innovative business models
- Value change and social innovation
The Manifesto of values and principles – the intellectual legacy of the Expo
The Expo will allow Governments, organizations, environmentalists, the business sector and consumers to write and agree on a set of directives and recommendations to meet global challenges. Written in the form of a Manifesto, these directives will aim at promoting a new code on the social and technological innovations needed to tackle the issue of energy.
In the years amounting to the Expo, preparatory meetings and 3 symposia will take place to explore the theme of Future Energy and start preparing the guidelines of the Manifesto. During the Expo, the debates and conferences hosted by the Future Energy Forum will give way to the core content of the document.
The issues the Manifesto will address are:
- The management of energy as a resource that impacts our lives and the environment
- The theme and sub-themes of the Expo
- The promotion of sustainable democratic and responsible energy future
- The need to address the issue of energy through collaboration.