Energy is central to addressing major challenges of the 21st Century, challenges like climate change, economic and social development, human well-being, sustainable development, and global security. In 2005, Prof. Bert Bolin, the founding Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with other eminent scientists and policy-makers, identified that a comprehensive, science-based assessment of the global energy system was needed if these challenges were to be realistically addressed. The Global Energy Assessment (GEA) is the result of this shared vision.
Since the establishment of the GEA in 2006 by governing Council of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 500 independent experts (about 300 authors and 200 anonymous reviewers) from academia, business, government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations from all the regions of the world have contributed to GEA in a process similar to that adopted by the IPCC.
The final GEA report examines: (a) the major global challenges and their linkages to energy; (b) the technologies and resources available for providing adequate, modern and affordable forms of energy; (c) the plausible structure of future energy systems most suited to addressing the century's challenges; and (d) the policies and measures, institutions and capacities needed to realize sustainable energy futures.
Undertaking such a massive assessment has required extraordinary leadership, intellectual input, support and coordination. Governance of the Assessment has been overseen by the GEA Council, led by two Co-Presidents, Ged Davis and Jos é Goldemberg and comprising members of supporters and sponsors of the GEA, including international organizations, government agencies, corporations, and foundations and non-governmental organizations.