Energy and climate action

Energy and climate action

Providing sufficient energy without driving climate change, at prices that remain affordable, is one of the most pressing challenges the world faces today. Around the world, countries are struggling to meet the conflicting challenges of rising demand for energy (particularly electricity), accelerating climate change, and volatile prices driving economic shocks.

Why are affordable, clean energy and climate action important?

Chemical engineers are central to the energy supply chain, especially while the composition of the energy mix is changing dramatically. The transition towards a net zero carbon future through the development of carbon-free, low-carbon and renewable energy systems requires chemical engineering expertise at almost every point.

Chemical engineers work with diverse stakeholders to develop smart manufacturing processes and systems with improved efficiency and lower environmental impact. They engage in the development of sustainable infrastructure, applying digitalisation, for the effective delivery of energy and storage of surplus energy, thereby addressing the challenges of the energy trilemma: security, affordability, or sustainability?

Chemical engineers help develop and deploy decarbonising technologies, such as electrical energy storage systems, carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS). Existing processes can be improved through sustainable design, including better utilisation of waste heat, process integration, and integrated supply chains. Chemical engineers bring overall systems thinking and life cycle analysis to meet these and future energy challenges and are well placed to consider safety and environment in the design, development, operation and decommissioning of energy systems and infrastructure.

SDG alignment

This Priority Topic aligns with SDGs 7 and 13 – Affordable Clean Energy and Climate Action.