Energy and Environment

Op-Ed

Iranian Reformers Oppose Government's Nuclear Ambitions

Author: Ray Takeyh
Los Angeles Times

While the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains Iran’s most consequential decision-maker, many of Iran’s most popular yet purged opposition leaders have decried the nuclear program as not economically beneficial, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Given that these reformers could win open and free elections, it is important to pay close attention to their arguments.

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy

Primary Sources

Submission by Denmark to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Treaty covers a variety of ocean-usage issues such as transit, mining, research, pollution, and resource management and sets out guidelines for nations. Territorial claims can be submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. On December 15,  2014, Denmark and Greenland submitted a claim to part of the Arctic, including the North Pole, which Russia and Canada each claim as their territory.

See more in Arctic; Denmark; Oceans; Territorial Disputes

Other Report

Spillovers From Falling Oil Prices: Risks to Mexico and the United States

Authors: Michael A. Levi, Alexandra Mahler-Haug, and Shannon K. O'Neil

U.S. policymakers who worry about the impact of energy developments on geopolitics typically think of high oil prices as bad news and low prices as an unalloyed good. But a sustained drop in oil prices can be dangerous as well. This paper investigates Mexican vulnerability to falling oil prices—and spillovers to the United States—to show how troublesome such a development might be.

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

Primary Sources

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Position Paper on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration

In 2013, the Philippines appealed to the United Nation's Convention on the Law of the Sea in settling claims to territory in the South China Sea. On December 7, 2014, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the Chinese government's response, arguing that the Convention does not apply to the dispute in the South China Sea.

See more in China; Philippines; Territorial Disputes; Oceans

Op-Ed

Why the World Missed the Oil Price Crash

Author: Michael A. Levi
The Washington Post

The recent oil price crash came as a surprise to many observers due to several critical misconceptions about oil markets, writes Michael Levi. As for prices going forward, “only the reckless would bet with any confidence on one particular outcome.”

See more in Global; Oil

Op-Ed

Rethinking Iran

Authors: Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh
The Washington Post

With the extension on the nuclear deal with Iran, Western powers would do well to reconfigure their assumptions on how to pressure Iran into a deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Instead of economic or diplomatic punitive measures, the United States needs a comprehensive and coercive strategy that would mend fences between the White House and Congress on the foreign policy front, strengthen alliances in the Middle East, and isolate Iran from its partners.

See more in Iran; United States; Nuclear Energy; Treaties and Agreements

Op-Ed

What to Expect from Obama?

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Following Barack Obama's executive action to give as many as five million immigrants legal status in the United States, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on other potential areas where the President could leave his mark during his last two years in office.

See more in United States; Climate Change; Immigration

Transcript

Fatih Birol on Africa and Its Energy Production

Speaker: Fatih Birol
Presider: Michelle Patron

Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, joins Michelle Patron, senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, to discuss the current energy landscape and key findings from the 2014 edition of the World Energy Outlook, which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa.

See more in Global; Energy Policy

Video

Fatih Birol on Africa and Its Energy Production

Speaker: Fatih Birol
Presider: Michelle Patron

Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, joins Michelle Patron, senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, to discuss the current energy landscape and key findings from the 2014 edition of the World Energy Outlook, which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Audio

Fatih Birol on Africa and Its Energy Production

Speaker: Fatih Birol
Presider: Michelle Patron

Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, joins Michelle Patron, senior director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, to discuss the current energy landscape and key findings from the 2014 edition of the World Energy Outlook, which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Transcript

Resources to Riches? The Creation of Sustainable Resource Development

Speakers: Christine Bader, Marcus Noland, and Ann M. Veneman

Christine Bader, visiting scholar and lecturer at Columbia University, Marcus Noland, executive vice president and director of studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and
Ann M. Veneman, former executive director at UNICEF and former U.S. secretary of agriculture, join Peter H. Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council to dicuss their experiences with agriculture and extractive industries in resource-rich developing countries.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Audio

Resources to Riches? The Creation of Sustainable Resource Development

Speakers: Christine Bader, Marcus Noland, and Ann M. Veneman
Presider: Peter H. Lehner

Christine Bader, visiting scholar and lecturer at Columbia University, Marcus Noland, executive vice president and director of studies at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and
Ann M. Veneman, former executive director at UNICEF and former U.S. secretary of agriculture, join Peter H. Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council to dicuss their experiences with agriculture and extractive industries in resource-rich developing countries.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment