Climate change is the most significant global environmental
issue, so policy discussions with mid- to long-term perspectives
are ongoing worldwide (e.g., UNFCCC). At the same time, energy is a
critical global issue in the current society. Recently, energy
demand has dramatically increased in large emerging countries
(e.g., China and India), driven by economic and population growth.
This tendency will continue, thus raising concerns about energy
supplies in the future. Also, because production and reserves of
fossil fuels are located in a limited number of countries, other
countries, including those in East Asia, that are poor in energy
resources and dependent on imported fossil fuels will face
potential price-fluctuations and geopolitical risks.