Economics & Global Affairs

43 Items

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

Max Avdeev/Flikr

Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Transformed Gas Markets Fuel US-Russian Rivalry, But Europe Plays Key Role Too

| May 30, 2018

This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Germany to drop its support for a major new Russian gas pipeline if Europe wants to avoid a trade war with Washington, while a senior U.S. diplomat warned that the project could be hit with U.S. sanctions; Russian President Vladimir Putin responded defiantly. This development, sadly, fuels the further politicization of the European gas market—a space that, in many ways, has reflected the triumphs of a depoliticized, pro-market technocracy, which has managed to stimulate competition and lower prices irrespective of changing political trends. Just last year, Trump called on European countries to buy American liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which, for now, remains more expensive than Russia’s pipeline gas. Certainly, the U.S. has much to gain on the global gas market, which has changed drastically over the past decade, as America rapidly transformed from an importer to an exporter. Europe’s gas market, meanwhile, has much to gain from additional supply. But Trump’s approach, especially if the latest reports are true, both alienates Western European partners and feeds into a sensationalist, simplistic portrayal of the new U.S. role’s effect on Russia—as a zero-sum game, in which these new, plentiful U.S. gas supplies serve as an antidote to Russia's “gas dominance” in Europe and hence to Moscow's political leverage.

Report: More Climate Change Recognition, Action Among Major Investors

Free-Photos/Pixabay

Report - Axios

More Climate Change Recognition, Action Among Major Investors

| May 10, 2018

Since the Paris Agreement's adoption in 2015, a majority of the world's largest investors have begun to take action on climate change. According to a new report, the 2016–2017 year showed an average improvement in decarbonization within all major investor categories except pension funds.

The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe: Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social License to Frack

Cambridge University Press

Book - Cambridge University Press

The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe: Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social Licence to Frack

| May 2018

Fracking is a novel but contested energy technology – so what makes some countries embrace it whilst others reject it? This book argues that the reason for policy divergence lies in procedures and processes, stakeholder inclusion and whether a strong narrative underpins governmental policies. Based on a large set of primary data gathered in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, it explores shale gas policies in Central Eastern Europe (a region strongly dependent on Russian gas imports) to unveil the importance of policy regimes for creating a 'social license' for fracking. Its findings suggest that technology transfer does not happen in a vacuum but is subject to close mutual interaction with political, economic and social forces; and that national energy policy is not a matter of 'objective' policy imperatives, such as Russian import dependence, but a function of complex domestic dynamics pertaining to institutional procedures and processes, and winners and losers.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Oxford University Press

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

| May 01, 2018

In conclusion, much has been written about the world's energy resources, but only a few books have been able to link energy realities to geopolitics. Windfall provides an important corrective to conventional wisdom on foreign and energy policies—and shows how the US can take full advantage of the new energy landscape. Thus O'Sullivan shows that by looking at both foreign policy and energy markets, businesses will make better investment decisions and policy-makers will make better strategic decisions.

Solar panel field and wind turbines

PIXNIO / hpgruesen

Book - Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources

| 2018

This Handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the latest research from leading scholars on the international political economy of energy and resources. Highlighting the important conceptual and empirical themes, the chapters study all levels of governance, from global to local, and explore the wide range of issues emerging in a changing political and economic environment.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power, by Meghan O'Sullivan. Published by Simon & Schuster on September 12, 2017.

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - Axios

Good Use of Your Holiday Gift Card (Before it Vanishes Behind the Fridge)

| Jan. 02, 2018

During our holiday newsletter hiatus, I finally had time to read Meghan O'Sullivan's book (pictured above) about how the shale boom is shaking up global oil-and-gas markets — a phenomenon that has broad and important geopolitical effects.

The boom benefits U.S. global posture and economy, but O'Sullivan warns that policymakers cannot be complacent and must take steps to harness its geo-strategic benefits while mitigating environmental risks.

A pump jack works off state highway 119 near Firestone, Colorado, May 27, 2016.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How the New 'Energy' Affluence Strengthens the United States

| Nov. 02, 2017

Last week when President Donald Trump threatened to impose new sanctions against Iran—OPECs third largest crude producer—commodity markets reacted swiftly. In the face of new tensions in the Middle East, the focus is again on the critical link between foreign policy and energy markets.

That is the focal point of Windfall, a new book written by Harvard professor Meghan O’Sullivan, who convincingly presents strong evidence against U.S. declinism in the context of the newfound energy abundance.

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power, by Meghan O'Sullivan. Published by Simon & Schuster on September 12, 2017.

Simon & Schuster

Book - Simon & Schuster

Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America's Power

| Sep. 12, 2017

Windfall is the boldest profile of the world’s energy resources since Daniel Yergin’s The Quest. Harvard professor and former Washington policymaker Meghan L. O’Sullivan reveals how fears of energy scarcity have given way to the reality of energy abundance. This abundance is transforming the geo-political order and boosting American power.

 

Solar panels at sunrise.

Karsten Würth

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy

| June 28, 2017

For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the
geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy
are both changing. The international order predominant since the
end of World War II faces mounting challenges. At the same time, renewable
energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of renewable
energy has received relatively little attention, especially when considering
the far-reaching consequences of a global shift to renewable energy.

The paper starts with a discussion of seven renewable energy scenarios
for the coming decades: the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016, the EIA’s
International Energy Outlook 2016, IRENA’s REmap 2016, Bloomberg’s
New Energy Outlook 2016, BP’s Energy Outlook 2016, Exxon-Mobil’s Outlook
for Energy 2016 and the joint IEA and IRENA G20 de-carbonization
scenario.

President Barack Obama gets direction from his science advisor John P. Holdren during an event on the South Lawn of the White House to explore the stars with middle school students.

Reuters

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Spotlight on John P. Holdren

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

As assistant to the president for science and technology, director of the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy, and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Holdren has worked closely with Obama to reinvigorate America’s scientific capabilities on a range of policy fronts, from climate change and renewable energy to health care and nanotechnology.