Making the transition

Faced with these adaptation difficulties, the risks of climate change will call for large-scale measures to be taken rapidly in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

It is therefore necessary and urgent to speed up the transition movement with respect to the trend currently accepted by most observers. In addition, changing only the structure of the primary energy supply (also known as the 'energy mix') will not be sufficient to ensure a satisfactory transition. It must be combined with other means, described below, such as improved energy efficiency and geological storage of CO2.

A long-term change is also required, which comprises the steps necessary to eventually produce a more sustainable system, while avoiding situations which would be unacceptable for the economy or the environment.

This will involve considerable changes. The trend observed in the years to come will be decisive for the future. Depending on the decisions taken, the energy transition could succeed and tend towards a sustainable equilibrium or, on the contrary, fail and lead to a crisis accompanied by major conflicts [24].

Numerous examples from the past show that societies which were unable to adapt to a change in their environment, especially depletion of resources, have collapsed suddenly. Some authors already consider that our society could suffer the same fate [25, 26].

This prediction is all the more worrying since, due to globalisation of the economy, such a collapse would not concern a single country or region, but the entire planet.

The step to be taken is therefore extremely critical, since events could accelerate and the risk of catastrophe is not excluded. An action plan must be implemented as a matter of urgency; the effort to be made will extend over a long period of time, until the threats have been removed. The transition must be initiated in the richest countries, which will be followed, with an inevitable delay, by the developing countries.

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