Climate Security in Times of Energy Insecurity

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Energy Insecurity and Climate Security- An Inconvenient Partnership Source: Bill FRymire

There is a surge in energy demand world-over, which is increasingly still being met by conventional fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. (Coal is the king in Asia-Pacific, at least till 2040). In last few decades, this has led to serious implications in form of increase in carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, resulting in rise of temperature. With rise in global warming, the countries are now fast looking out for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and most of them targeting their energy basket.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has in its report documented how the use of fossil fuels leads to GHG emissions causing climate change. Be it forest fires, floods, droughts, oceanic bleaching etc. all are related to rise in temperatures due to increase of carbon in the atmosphere. This has even affected the food production and led to various other human catastrophes causing mass deaths of humans and animals alike.

These disasters have now become omnipresent throughout the world, versus the early times. The only changing factor here is energy. Earlier in absence of much energy options, climate did not impact much of the academic cum political discourse; but today as there is a race to acquire more and more energy resources- it does hold much value. Be it through pipeline diplomacy, cartel system or technological advancements- all nations are competing to have an upper hand in energy security, never matter the climate disaster waiting in lieu. The geopolitics plays a greater role in energy security now than the climate security. Given that the US, a major carbon contributor, has opted out of the climate treaty, we have definitely entered a “climate insecure” world.

As Al Gore stated in “Inconvenient Truth”- The struggle to control GHG must be global to experience any positive change… Energy requirements are immediate, and so are the threats to its supply. Threats include al-Qaida attacks on Saudi oil refineries or the routine Iranian financed bombings of Iraqi oil pipelines. There currently exists disconnect between action and outcome for GHG; it will approximately take 50 years before any significant change is noticed in the atmospheric conditions.

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