Energy for Development 2004 sounds like a conference which could have significantly WorldChanging results. It's organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in coordination with the World Bank, UNDP and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. The WBCSD press release describes the conference in this way:
Energy is the key to economic development, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. By 2050, energy demand could double or triple as population rises and developing countries expand their economies and overcome poverty, according to the recently published WBCSD report ‘Facts & Trends to 2050: Energy and climate change’. Further, huge investments are needed in developing countries to enable energy production and distribution to underpin sustainable development.
The privatization and liberalization of the energy industries in developing countries have failed to attract enough investment, and energy markets have been unable to draw enough private sector money.
Instigating the investment needed will require new forms of public-private partnership involving the private sector, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, knowledge institutes, and governments. It will also require the expansion of innovative financing mechanisms, such as micro-credits.
E4D will take place December 12-14 of this year in the Netherlands, but even if you're in the neighborhood, don't think about dropping by -- the conference is invitation-only. Fortunately, E4D has put much of its preliminary material online. The conference background document (PDF) makes particularly good reading for WorldChangers; many of the key issues we talk about here (sustainable energy, democratic development, good governance, access for the poor, the environment, leapfrogging) are at the top of this conference's agenda, and the background document goes into substantive details about both the current situation and possible strategies.
(If any WorldChanging readers are attending this conference, we'd love a first-hand report of the discussions!)