Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

The Next Front on Climate Change

Authors: Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Jessica Seddon, and David G. Victor

After dithering for decades, governments finally seem to be paying serious attention to the problem of global climate change. Late last year, at the Paris climate conference, they adopted a major new agreement to limit global warming, beginning a process to strengthen commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over time.

See more in Global; Climate Change

Foreign Affairs Article

The Clean Energy Revolution

Authors: Varun Sivaram and Teryn Norris

If the world is to avoid climate calamity, it needs to reduce its carbon emissions drastically by the middle of this century—a target that is simply out of reach with existing technology. Varun Sivaram and his co-author present the case for a massive investment in clean energy research and development to reach that goal. 

See more in Global; Renewable Energy

Article

Instead of Cutting Waste, Nigeria Racks Up Debt to Replace Oil Revenues

Author: Matthew T. Page
World Politics Review

Last week, Nigeria’s Senate passed President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed 2016 budget, which projected a deficit of $15 billion due to falling oil prices. In an email interview, Matthew Page, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed the impact of falling oil prices on Nigeria’s economy and politics.

See more in Nigeria; Oil; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Article

Nigeria’s Reform of Its State Oil Company Will Be Cosmetic Without Cutting Corrupt Ties

Author: Matthew T. Page
Quartz

or decades, Nigeria’s state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been the leading symbol of official corruption and a seemingly boundless source of political patronage. Faced with plummeting global oil prices and dwindling state coffers, president Muhammadu Buhari cannot afford to allow the NNPC, under a veneer of reform, to operate much as it did before. 

See more in Nigeria; Oil

Primary Sources

U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership

U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released this statement on March 10, 2016. The leaders agreed to move forward on the Paris Agreement and support other international efforts to combat the effects of climate change. The joint statement also details U.S.-Canada cooperation on curbing emissions, integrating renewable energy into existing grids, and developing additional clean technologies.

See more in Americas; Arctic; Climate Change; Renewable Energy

Testimony

Energy Prices and Crisis Risks

Author: Robert Kahn

Robert Kahn testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, describing the crisis risks generated by persistently low oil and gas prices. He argued that the risks are especially acute for energy exporters such as Venezuela and Nigeria, and that such countries need sizable policy adjustments in the immediate future.

See more in Americas; Global; Oil; Financial Crises

Article

Falling Oil Prices, the Saudis, and the Soviets

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of  Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Oil; Russian Federation