Energy and environmental security are major problems facing our global economy. Fossil fuels, particularly crude oil, are confined to a few regions of the world and the continuity of supply is governed by dynamic political, economic and ecological factors. These factors conspire to force volatile, often high fuel prices while, at the same time, environmental policy is - manding a reduction in greenhouse gases and toxic emissions. Yet incr- sed growth and demand for welfare by developed and developing countries are placing higher pressure on energy resources. In particular, a large fraction of "new consumers" in developing countries already reached a purchasing power high enough as to be able to access to commodity and energy markets worldwide, thus boosting energy consumption and competition for all kinds of resources. Such a trend, although in principle may represent a progress towards diffuse welfare and wealth as well as much needed equity, is at present contributing to a rush for the appropriation of available resources which are directly and indirectly linked to energy and may contribute to planetary instability if it is not adequately understood and managed. A coherent energy strategy is required, addressing both energy supply and demand, security of access, development problems, equity, market dy- mics, by also taking into account the whole energy lifecycle including fuel production, transmission and distribution, energy conversion, and the impact on energy equipment manufacturers and the end-users of energy systems.