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The Politics and Institutions of global Energy Governance by Thijs Van de Graaf

By Thijs Van de Graaf

From weather swap over shale fuel to the race for the Arctic, power makes headlines in foreign politics virtually day-by-day. Thijs Van de Graaf argues that strength is in dire desire of world governance. He strains the historical past of foreign power cooperation from the infamous 'Seven Sisters' oil-companies cartel to the hot construction of the foreign Renewable power company (IRENA). He analyses how foreign associations were created for securing oil rents, coordinating consumer-countries' strength protection rules, selling producer-consumer discussion, dealing with neighborhood fuel markets, and working with energy-related environmental externalities. Drawing at the rising regime complexity literature, he constructs a unique analytical framework to give an explanation for the fragmented structure of world strength governance, and experiences customers for institutional reform on the overseas strength supplier (IEA) and the G8/G20.

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Numerous environmental risks are linked to our energy production and usage, including oil spills, gas flaring and venting, nuclear waste, and forest degradation. Yet, the most severe energy-environmental degradation is probably air pollution, and climate change in particular (Smil 2005; Podobnik 2006). The large-scale combustion of fossil fuels is the principal source of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere. CO2 emissions from the burning of oil, coal, and gas are the main culprit for planetary warming, the most critical and potentially calamitous environmental problem of the planet.

What actually matters is not the fuels and other energy inputs themselves, but the services that they render. Energy services refer to the services that energy and energy appliances provide, such as lighting, heating, and power for transport (Modi et al. 2006). People do not need a barrel of oil, they need mobility. Similarly, hydrocarbons, electrons, and other basic energy sources and carriers are useless without the appliances, machines, and infrastructure through which these basic inputs can deliver the energy services that people actually need.

That said, it is equally important to recognize that we currently rely overwhelmingly on fossil fuels to generate the energy services that we consume. As mentioned earlier, oil, coal, and natural gas provide no less than 80 per cent of the world’s energy supply. 1 (Continued) Parameters Indicators Threats and risks Energy prices that require poor households to spend large shares of their income on energy ‘acceptability’ Democratic and accountable processes and transactions in the energy sector Social justice Minimal contribution to environmental problems and no destruction of human habitats Autocracy, corruption and resource curse in petro-states Billions of people without access to energy Social and environmental costs not internalized in energy price Source: Adapted from Elkind (2010) and Sovacool (2011).

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