Interconnections between Climate and Energy Governance

Jonathan SYMONS

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'Energy security’ is usually understood as the achievement of low-cost, diverse, stable energy supplies (Yergin, 2006, p. 70); importantly, the agent who ‘secures’ energy is usually a state or sub-state government. A cursory analysis of this definition suggests that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and attaining energy security will, after cost-neutral energy efficiency gains are exhausted, be contradictory goals (see Chapter 2). This is because the higher price of low-emissions energy sources (OECD, 2010) runs counter to the ‘low-cost’ goal of traditional energy security policy. Yet, a paradoxical flipside emerges: while GHG emissions reductions and energy security are largely contradictory objectives within the domestic policy making of any individual state (Brown and Huntington, 2008), an effective global agreement mitigating climate change would bring considerable side-benefits for aggregate global energy security. This chapter outlines why an effective global climate agreement would stimulate investment in both energy research and developing world infrastructure and argues that these developments would unlock benefits via improved cooperation in energy distribution. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether these side-benefits are sufficient to fully compensate for the higher cost of low-emissions energy sources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy Security in the Era of Climate Change : The Asia-Pacific Experience
EditorsLuca ANCESCHI, Jonathan SYMONS
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9780230355361
ISBN (Print)9780230279872
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2011

Publication series

NameEnergy, Climate and the Environment Series book series (ECE)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

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