Energy "powers" our life, and energy consumption correlates strongly with our standards of living. The developed world has become accustomed to cheap and plentiful supplies. Recently, more of the developing world populations are striving for the same, and taking steps towards securing their future energy needs. Competition over limited supplies of conventional fossil fuel resources is intensifying, and more challenging environmental problems are springing up, especially related to carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions. There is strong evidence that atmospheric CO 2 concentration is well correlated with the average global temperature. Moreover, model predictions indicate that the century-old observed trend of rising temperatures could accelerate as carbon dioxide concentration continues to rise. Given the potential danger of such a scenario, it is suggested that steps be taken to curb energy-related CO 2 emissions through a number of technological solutions, which are to be implemented in a timely fashion. These solutions include a substantial improvement in energy conversion and utilization efficiencies, carbon capture and sequestration, and expanding the use of nuclear energy and renewable sources. Some of these technologies already exist, but are not deployed at sufficiently large scale. Others are under development, and some are at or near the conceptual state. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.