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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: May 2010

7 - Managing energy security risks in a changing world

Summary

Introduction

In just a few years the hard truth about declining energy security has reached the upper levels of policy making in consuming countries. The European Commission's “Energy for a changing world,” in which its ambitions for a clean, secure and efficient energy policy are communicated, and the recent report by the American National Petroleum Council “Facing the hard truths about energy” share the growing concern about the development of the global energy system. The need to meet current and future energy demands within the constraints of climate change policies and the increasing insecurity of oil and gas supply has not only elevated energy to the top of the political agenda in the US and Europe, but also made energy a national priority in Asian countries such as China, India and Japan. As a result, energy policy is no longer an issue for economic policy makers alone, but has also become part of the trade, environment, foreign affairs and security policy agendas. At the same time, energy has also gained in strategic value to oil and gas producing countries, in terms of its contribution to growth, trade, income for the government and foreign direct investments in the main consumer markets. For Russia, for instance, energy has contributed to its swift come-back as a major player in international affairs, while China's energy-related ventures into Africa and elsewhere have underpinned the international and strategic nature of that country's rapid ascent as a geopolitical power.

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