Energy and Environment

Article

By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest Is Changing The World

Authors: Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael A. Levi
All China Review

Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore how Chinese demand drive global commodity prices, the broader implications of the Chinese slowdown for the global economy and regional security, and consequences of China’s resource quest for the world’s resource-producing states and industries.

See more in China; Financial Markets; Environmental Policy

Article

Fracking and the Climate Debate

Author: Michael A. Levi
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

Shale gas is no panacea but, with the right policies to protect communities where gas is produced and to harness the fuel as part of a broader climate strategy, it can play a critical role in confronting global warming, argues Michael A. Levi in a Democracy article.

See more in United States; Natural Gas; Energy Policy

Other Report

Oil Prices, Low-Carbon Energy, and Climate Policy

For decades, oil prices have influenced the outlook for alternatives to oil and policies that support those alternatives. Expensive oil makes substitutes more appealing; cheap oil makes the economic case for alternatives that much more difficult. High prices in the 1970s kick-started clean energy, including the first modern electric vehicles, while the oil slump beginning in the 1980s pummeled sources like wind and solar power and undermined the push for more fuel-efficient cars.

See more in Global; Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Leading From Between: How California and Germany Can Fix the Climate Agenda

Authors: Varun Sivaram and David Livingston

Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if coordinated effectively. Varun Sivaram and David Livingston argue that California and Germany can “lead from between” to bridge international and subnational climate action.

See more in United States; Germany; Environmental Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

China’s Soft-Power Push

Author: David Shambaugh

As China’s global power grows, Beijing is learning that its image matters. For all its economic and military might, the country suffers from a severe shortage of soft power. According to global public opinion surveys, it enjoys a decidedly mixed international image.

See more in China; Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Go East, Young Oilman

Author: Michael A. Levi

Most observers agree that the United States, propelled by its boom in oil and gas production, is becoming increasingly central to global energy. As oil prices have plummeted, American oil producers have taken credit. As U.S. imports have fallen, foreign policy thinkers have suggested that Washington could rely far less on the Middle East.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Energy and Environment

Event

Iran Update

Speaker: Ray Takeyh
Moderator: Irina A. Faskianos

Ray Takeyh, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, discusses U.S. policy toward Iran in light of the ongoing nuclear program negotiations and regional security challenges, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy; Religion

Article

Ensuring Tesla Doesn't Crowd Out the Batteries of the Future

Author: Varun Sivaram
Forbes

Tesla is planning to scale up production of its lithium-ion batteries, which today power electric vehicles but tomorrow could back up the electricity grid, by building a massive “Gigafactory” in Nevada. Varun Sivaram argues that while positive in the short run, Tesla’s mediocre battery could crowd out more promising, advanced battery technologies in the long run, impeding long-term progress on climate change.

See more in Global; Renewable Energy

Interview

Rebuilding Nepal

Nancy Lindborg interviewed by Eleanor Albert

Nepal's earthquake underscores how vital it is for governments to invest in resilient infrastructure, says U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg.

See more in Nepal; Disasters

Article

Why Moore's Law Doesn't Apply to Clean Energy Technologies

Author: Varun Sivaram
Greentech Media

For fifty years, Moore’s Law has governed the startling pace of innovation in the computer chip industry. That Moore’s Law is an extraordinary phenomenon, unique to a single industry, is often forgotten by clean energy commentators who misappropriate it for predicting the progress of technologies like solar panels and batteries. Varun Sivaram argues that this sort of analogy is misleading, and that the clean energy sector should aspire to Moore-esque advances.

See more in Global; Renewable Energy; Clean Technology