The global energy system faces serious stresses in coming decades due to pressure to reduce climate change and uncertainties over traditional supplies, the International Energy Agency Chief Economist said presenting the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2014 at Friends of Europe’s high-level conference.

Making global energy use sustainable requires four times the current $400 billion annual investment in clean energy. “This can only happen if there is an international, legally binding agreement from Paris, for which I have more hopes now,” he said. “I consider this China-U.S. agreement to be a historic moment.”

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2014 forecast 37% growth in global energy demand by 2040, according to a central scenario. That will present major challenges, especially given instability in oil-producing countries in the Middle East and the crisis in Ukraine started by Russia, a major source of gas. At the same time, however, increasing worldwide emphasis on energy efficiency is starting to bring results.

The energy mix will likely change, according to the IEA, with renewables and gas increasing their share, while demand for coal slows down. Oil prices are going down due to cheap shale oil coming from the U.S. and nuclear capacity is declining in the EU, but rising in China, which will be the source of almost half the new capacity.

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