Energy transition continued to be a hot topic across the global climate and energy policy discussion in 2018. Although Germany has joined the ranks of “coal phase-out” following the United Kingdom, many emerging economies and developing countries have increased their investments in coal power under the pressure of stable power supply for both economic growth and energy poverty reduction. Due to methane leakage, the emission reduction effect of shale gas development in the United States remains controversial. More non-state actors are joining the bottom-up movement to address climate change and reduce fossil energy consumption. Although this trend was strengthened at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco in September, the report released in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) titled "IPCC Global Warming 1.5 °C Special Report" once again warned the world that even the current climate commitments of the world’s major carbon emitters would be realized, it is still far from achieving the ideal goal of controlling global average temperature rise by the end of this century no more than 1.5 °C. In the context of the new framework and new strategy for combating global climate change challenges set by the Paris Agreement, energy transition aimed at replacing fossil energy with renewable energy becomes even more urgent.
The articles collected in the REEI Energy Review 2018 not only comment on the abovementioned major issues, but also discuss the impacts of citizen behavioral changes. For example, in the transport sector, how the policy advocacy of eco-driving behavior in Japan and Korea contributes to energy efficiency improvements; in terms of energy consumption for people’s daily needs, how to promote clean cooking to achieve the co-benefits of emissions reduction and public health. This Review also includes an article on how the healthcare sector, which is a “latecomer” in coping with climate change and energy transition, thinks about its potential leadership role in addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions from a systemic perspective, starting with the energy efficiency improvement of air conditioning, enhancing their resilience to climate change and actively shifting energy use to renewables.
REEI’s discussion on energy transition has entered the sixth year. This is the fourth consecutive year of publication of the "REEI Energy Review". We hope that the articles shared in this Review will bring more thoughts to colleagues, and promote energy transition policy exchanges and discussions to be more transparent and reasonable in China. At the same time, we are here to express our gratitude to our friends and families who have always cared and helped us, and we sincerely thank some of our partners who have worked with us for the past six years. They are Friends of Nature, China Association for NGO Cooperation, SEE Foundation, Narada Foundation, Ginkgo Foundation, Healthcare Without Harm, Heinrich Boell Foundation (Beijing Office), National Geographic Air & Water Conservation Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Bread for the World.