UFRGSMUN: beyond modelling 155 TOPIC: Energy supply in Asia Iara Binta Lima Machado, Isadora Steffens, Giovani Bastiani Roggia, Bruno Gomes Guimarães and Brunna Bozzi Feijó 1.HISTORICAL BACKGROUND1.1.THE EMERGENCE OF MODERN ENERGY PATTERNSIf faced with the task of having to trace the most significant events regarding socioeconomic, political and cultural aspects in modern history one can easily state the outcomes of the increasing sophistication of the use of energy as one of the major turning-points. Energy and all the apparatus it moves forward, including services, facilities and the production of goods is in straight and intimate connection with the growth and welfare of states and is now a great concern to statesmen and strategists (SLESSER, 1978). Societies were not always dependant on fossil fuels and electricity. Until the outbreak of the industrial revolution during the 18th century, labor energy needs were satisfied by man and animal power while heat and cooking were supplied by timber and, to a lesser extent, coal. The technological novelties introduced by the Industrial Revolution set the basis for a myriad of energy-consuming technological inventions that soon spread from the United Kingdom to its counterparts in Europe, the United States and eventually the world, providing the background for the unprecedented economic growth that would follow. At the center of these new technologies and economic growth was a fossil fuel, coal (HOBSBAWM, 1996; SIDDIQI, 2008). Although most of the routine energy needs were still supplied by animal power for more than a hundred years after the industrial revolution (THOMPSON, 1966), for the first time the use of energy became the engine for economic growth and social development, a pattern that would persist until the present day. From 1860 onwards the European Continent (and the United States) underwent a new phase of science-based technological revolutions known as the Second Industrial Revolution. By introducing electricity and the internal combustion engine the Second Industrial Revolution brought about a major change not only to the production sphere but also to the daily domestic life1, consolidating the symbiosis between modern life and energy (HOBSBAWM, 1977). The use of fossil fuels before restricted to the production of goods, minor rudimentary heating and illumination systems and steam-powered transportation now penetrated all spheres of the common citizen’s life. Modern life and energy patterns became so closely related that one could not be sustained without the other. Such changes, however, did not occur everywhere at the same pace. Faced with a long distance from the major centers of development and subjugated by imperial powers, Asia was unable to close in the technological and economic gap separating it from the West. Changes in land use, for instance, that took place several centuries 1And to the energy patterns, since the combustion engine can be considered to be the main sole cause for the surpassing of coal by oil as the most important fossil fuel.