Are energy transitions an opportunity or risk to climate security?
COP26 cemented commitments from countries to do more to mitigate the climate crisis. Increasingly galvanised climate protests and serious calls from scientists formed a pre-cursor to the conference, where countries gathered to negotiate plans to limit global warming to 1.5C. One of the most polluting sectors is energy, and so was the focus of many of the discussions. Besides its importance for the global economy, energy can play a role in driving global conflicts. However, the potential repercussions of energy transitions have remained relatively under explored, both at the conference, and in public and academic discourse more generally.
The transition to lower carbon energies is likely to have multiple impacts, many of which are expected to be positive for human health and wellbeing. However, as we transition away from fossil fuels, there may be negative consequences for security. For instance, 90% of Iraq’s government revenue comes from oil, which means the move towards net zero will deprive this fragile state of key revenue, unless it’s able to diversify its economy away from oil. This will likely impact both Iraq’s and international security.
Against this backdrop, this webinar aimed to offer a space for critical reflection on the potential impacts to security of the energy transition and ways to restrict any negative impacts and best take advantage of opportunities to build peace through this transition.
Bößner S, Taylor A. 2021. Are energy transitions an opportunity or risk to climate security?. Rome, Italy: CGIAR FOCUS Climate Security.