Photo by Chris LeBoutillier from Pexels
By Shawn Rostker
The Russian Federation has a history of using energy policy as a coercive tool of foreign policy. This practice dates back to the late 1980’s before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It continued through the early years of the newly formed Russian state as it sought to rebuild from economic ruin. Moscow, in its contemporary form, continues to exercise this practice as it seeks to capitalize on its natural abundance of oil and natural gas reserves. Currently, Russia boasts the world’s largest proven reserves of natural gas with roughly 48 trillion cubic meters. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s most recent figures it is also the world’s number one annual exporter of natural gas at over 210 billion cubic meters. While the playbook may not be new, the Russian state is not the same player that the Soviet Union was. The Soviet Union struggled to implement these tactics effectively due to an incompetent central planning system, disjointed leadership structures, and their failure to adequately maintain technological progress due to a lack of incentive schemes. Over the course of the last twenty years, however, Russia has consolidated its energy industries under state purview, established a vertically-oriented ladder of leadership, provided incentive and opportunity for innovation, and strengthened its economic might through integration into global markets. These characteristics enable Russia to behave more subversively within bilateral partnerships.
Continue reading “Op-Ed: The Strategic Shifts Caused by Nord Stream 2 and What the United States Can Do Moving Forward”
Featured image by Michal Klodner
By Rebeca Camacho
From an array of sectors and institutions going remote, to entire countries enforcing strict stay-at-home orders worldwide, it appears as though the coronavirus pandemic has, by and large, completely reshaped society’s energy consumption. According to the International Energy Agency, global greenhouse gas emissions will fall nearly eight percent this year, the largest drop recorded in modern history. The significance of this figure, however, goes beyond the observation of a temporary halt to the population’s general behavioral patterns. Examining governmental responses to the free fall of power usage provides us with a glimpse into how the energy trade-offs of today could pave the way into the transition to a greener future tomorrow.
Continue reading “From Trade-Off To Transition: The Power Dynamics of a Green Industrial Revolution & COVID-19”
Graduate Fellow Editor
Human beings are perhaps cognitively wired for reacting faster to events that come as a sudden shock or stimulate loyal sentiments connected with social identity (race, religion, nation, etc.) than to processes spread over a longer period of time. Thus, the urgency of response by governments across the world to the 9/11 attacks, the COVID-19 pandemic, and global warming lie along a line facing southward while these events unfolded or are unfolding in ascending order of time duration. This cognitive bias manifests itself despite the fact that the likelihood of these three events threatening the survival of our species varies from least to most likely respectively.
Continue reading “After COVID-19: Implications on International Organizations and the Global Order”