In November 2016, the Paris Agreement came into force, reinvigorating international commitment to limiting climate change.
Scientific evidence suggests about two thirds of the emissions budget for keeping warming below 2° has already been used and a significant proportion of global emissions are related to the unabated use of fossil fuels. A transition to alternative energy sources is clearly critical.
This guide shares our thinking on how to evaluate energy systems in the context of their environmental impact. According to the Energy Trilemma, energy solutions must respond to three goals namely affordability, security and sustainability. Arup has taken a deep dive into the latter cornerstone to illustrate the relative merits of different energy systems and thereby support the gradual transition towards sustainable energy delivery. Within this guide, we set out a framework for environmental assessment of the various energy generating technologies and sources, taking into account the level of information available when evaluating upstream (e.g. extraction) and downstream (generation) projects. We hope this guide will serve to initiate debate amongst decision makers across the energy industry and inform future investments.