SDEWES Special Session

SPECIAL SESSION: Security and Sustainable Development

The twentieth century was a century of oil, not only that oil enabled the most fascinating period of growth in human history, fuelling international trade and bringing pision of labour to really global levels. Meanwhile oil, being abundant only in some regions has created dependence of trading nations on, has caused many conflicts, and the security of its trade paths has become one of the pillars of the current world order. The price of oil, one of the most important parameters of global economy, reasonably being kept higher allowing for scarcity pricing, based on vacillating agreement between cartel of producers and developed countries, sometimes is being used as a political tool. But oil is exhaustible and conventional type which is cheap to produce may have already reached peaking, creating even higher pressure to control its production and trade. Shale oil and gas may postpone the day of reckoning for a decade or two, but will not change the paradigm. There are many alternatives, but which one is the best? Any energy future based on scarce resources will mean keeping the same paradigm which is utterly unsustainable and keeping humanity on the edge of war. Decoupling development from the use of resources, using only those that are renewable and locally available, would enable a switch to a new sustainable paradigm. Nations would not depend on the scarcity of mineral resources but on the ingenuity of its scientists. With open access to knowledge new technologies would quickly spread and bring prosperity to the entire humanity. Although the goal is set, there are many ways transition may take. The crucial will be integration of energy, transport, water, food and other life supporting systems reaping efficiencies. This special session was dedicated to contributions that would help gather knowledge of interconnections of insecurity and scarcity of resources, and of ways how decoupling of development from resources may help increasing security, bringing sustainable development.

In cooperation with World Academy of Art and Science, the session organisers were:

Prof. Ivo Šlaus, Rudjer Boskovic Institute (Email:

Prof. Neven Duic, University of Zagreb (Email: