Energy dependence is the leitmotif of Eurasian political economy. The concept recurs in official speeches and is often invoked to imply a threat. The higher the level of dependence on hydrocarbon imports, especially oil and natural gas, the higher the energy security risk. This stems usually from political instability in hydrocarbon-producing countries, concerns about price volatility, the fact that some state-owned oil companies are hand-in-glove with authoritarian regimes, or increased carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming. More than anywhere else, member states and associated member states of the International Energy Agency have sought to make sustainable development (including further development of domestic resources) and energy security a top priority. It is perceived as a means towards decreasing dependence. It turns out that the interests of consuming and producing countries are, however, more and more divergent, and finding common ground is challenging, although increasingly important.
Rawi Abdelal, Faculty Associate. Director, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University; Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit, Harvard Business School.
Aurélie Bros, Postdoctoral Fellow, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
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