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  • Author: Bill Brownell, Scott Stone
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The release of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report on March 31, 2014, provoked the usual calls for urgent and immediate action in response to climate change, including in particular at the international level in the form of a new climate treaty built upon domestic regulatory regimes. Irrespective of whether these calls for action are overly strident or carefully measured, the law plays a central role. In almost any discussion, the breadth and stringency of national and sub-national regulations and the extent to which a treaty can make them “legally binding” assumes paramount importance. But this emphasis on law is misplaced, because it runs headlong into the hard reality that would confront any international climate agreement in the US Senate. And given the soaring use of coal around the world, it also draws attention and resources away from far more achievable opportunities to develop and deploy advanced coal technologies that would allow the world's most abundant, accessible, and affordable energy resource to meet critical energy needs in balance with each country's environmental, economic, and security priorities.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Pinar Dost-Niyego, Orhan Taner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The recent events in Ukraine have revived the question of European dependence on Russian natural gas. The security of Europe's natural gas supply has been a consistently important issue in Russian-European Union (EU) relations. Russia provided 34 percent of EU gas in 2012, and Russian policies can have a direct impact on EU supplies. After the West-Russian confrontation over Ukraine, a lot has been said about the 'US shale gas revolution' and the possibilities of the United States becoming an energy exporter for future European energy needs. Although US energy independence seems to promise new perspectives for future European energy security, as well as for the balance of power in the Middle East, this is not for this decade. We cannot expect that the European Union would be able to cut off all of its energy relations with Russia, but we can foresee–or at least agree–that the European Union should diversify its natural gas supplies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Blythe Lyons
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: US national security is enhanced by energy security. The United States is enjoying a unique opportunity to bolster its energy security by increasing domestic production of oil and gas resources. The recent explosion in domestic unconventional production will allow an expanded bandwidth of US responses to the turmoil in the Middle East and Europe. If further exploited, the move toward energy self-sufficiency also gives the United States a cushion to reassess its global strategic policies. Expanding the domestic resource base further provides the United States with an industrial advantage in global commerce.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, National Security, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: David Koranyi
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The fundamentals of the natural gas sectors of the United States and European Union (EU) are on divergent paths. While the US prepares for gas exports on the back of the unconventional gas revolution, Europe is facing declining indigenous production and growing dependence on imports. The Central and Southeastern Europe (CSEE) region has moved closer to integrate into the EU's internal energy market, but it remains in a vulnerable position in the short-term compared to the rest of the EU and especially the US due to the region's historic exposure to Gazprom's monopolistic abuse. A concerted US, EU, and regional effort is needed to implement a diversification strategy, where US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports could make a real difference. In the medium and long run, the region can benefit from and play a crucial role in Europe's gas supply diversification strategy and may even succeed in adapting the US unconventional experience, contributing to a healthier energy import balance on the continent.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: David J. Goldwyn
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Mexico's Congress passed its final hurdle to reform the Constitution and allow for private investment in the energy industry on December 12, 2013. This significant achievement heralds the most comprehensive energy reform in the last seventy-five years of the country's history.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Andrew Paterson, Walter Howes
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Global energy demand will increase substantially in the coming decades under pressure from global trends, including an increasing population that will reach 9 billion by 2040, and, for the first time in history, will be overwhelmingly urban. Meeting basic global energy needs will require the use of all available sources of energy while addressing and minimizing environmental and climate impacts. Nuclear energy is an established part of the world's electricity mix, and provides large-scale, reliable, base-load electricity demand. As such, it seems to be well matched to fit into an increasingly urban world that aims to mediate environmental challenges.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Blythe Lyons
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: A substantive dialogue has emerged in the United States under the rubric of "the energy and water nexus," representing the deepening understanding of the circular relationship between water and energy. Both are essential building blocks of US economic and physical security, and interface with efforts to improve health and prosperity. On a national level, the criticality of this relationship to economic and public prosperity is often ignored, as energy and water impacts are largely specific to a watershed or a local surface water source. The United States today needs new policies and significant infrastructure investment in order to meet the increasing demand for water and energy, while dealing with the constraints of growing water scarcity and potential threats to water quality.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Water, Biofuels
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Franklin D. Kramer, John R. Lyman, Mihaela Carstei
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Energy security presents quintessential geopolitical challenges. In Central Europe, achieving energy security can be a critical element for a continent seeking to resolve vestigial Cold War complexities with Russia and toward meeting 21st century challenges including balanced economic development, energy diversity and climate change. Central Europe, utilizing both European Union support and Western European national assistance and enhanced by United States technical assistance, can take five key steps that will go far toward resolving energy security challenges and help to reframe the geopolitics of the continent.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The world is at a critical junction in history that will shift the course of economic, social and political developments. The steps major economies take will have a profound impact on international developments and make increasing global cooperation on a number of issues crucial to the well-being of citizens throughout the world. The “US-India Dialogue on Sustainable Energy Security” was the latest effort by the Atlantic Council's Program on Energy and Environment to work with other leading policy institutions to identify the challenges of international cooperation to resolve the difficulties associated with providing the energy resources required to support growing and sustainable economic and social prosperity. The Council's activities are designed to provide non-partisan, pragmatic assessments and recommendations that recognize the need for international energy structures that support the worldwide physical supply security of environmentally responsible and affordable energy.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources, Biofuels
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Southeast Asia
  • Author: John R. Lyman
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In 2007, the Atlantic Council of the United States (the Council) partnered with the U.S./China Energy and Environment Technology Center (EETC) at Tsinghua and Tulane Universities to hold a series of dialogues to foster cooperation between the United States and China on developing secure and sustainable energy supplies. Over the past several years, the Council and EETC have invited key organizations, experts from industry and government, and representatives from relevant United States (U.S.) and Chinese government agencies to become directly involved in several meetings designed to identify concrete recommendations for increasing official governmental and industry cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia