Foreign Policy Blogs

Managing a Living Planet

Climate Change: A Generational Challenge

Climate Change: A Generational Challenge

The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — most dramatically since the 1970s. Yet, global warming skeptics and ill-informed elected officials continue to dismiss this broad scientific consensus.

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From oil to nuclear energy: a Lausanne Accord between Iran and the P5+1

From oil to nuclear energy: a Lausanne Accord between Iran and the P5+1

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet again on March 15 in Lausanne for the final stretch of international negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.

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Assessing OPEC’s (Saudi) Strategy to Counter the Oil Price Slump

Assessing OPEC’s (Saudi) Strategy to Counter the Oil Price Slump

After a near six year low, crude oil prices are finally starting to bounce back. According to Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, the bounce in oil prices is a result of oil demand growth, which has helped create some much-needed calm in the market.

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The Continuing Losing Hand

The Continuing Losing Hand

The tragic outbreak of Ebola in Liberia that has killed at least 1,800 people has only added another debilitating layer on top of a slew of other concerns the government and its citizens are trying to overcome, especially years of civil war that ravaged the nation.

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Earth Hour: Celebrating Darkness Sends the Wrong Message

Earth Hour: Celebrating Darkness Sends the Wrong Message

On the evening of Saturday, March 29, people around the world are being asked by campaigners to switch off the lights for an hour to celebrate “Earth Hour”. The question is whether this helps the climate and the challenges it faces around the world.
“Global warming is a real problem, but …

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The Arctic Blog is moving

The Arctic Blog is moving

After five great years at the Foreign Policy Association, the Arctic Blog will be moving to a new, independent site at http://www.cryopolitics.com. I’ll continue to contribute to the FPA network occasionally at the U.S. Energy Independence, Food and Climate, and China’s …

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Europe Debates its Future Climate Targets

Europe Debates its Future Climate Targets

The countries of the European Union tend to be viewed as the main advocates at the national level for developing a more comprehensive and binding global plan to tackle climate change. As the EU pushes forward, other nations have been stuck in neutral or have been retrenching. With the European …

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Finnish Foreign Minister on the Nordic model and the Arctic

Finnish Foreign Minister on the Nordic model and the Arctic

Finland has a smaller profile in the Arctic than its neighbor to the west, Norway. Whereas Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared at last week’s Arctic Frontiers conference that the Arctic will continue to be “most important foreign policy area” for her country, …

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Norway’s Prime Minister calls for advancing Northern Norway’s knowledge economy

Norway’s Prime Minister calls for advancing Northern Norway’s knowledge economy

Although last week’s Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway focused on the activities of “humans in the Arctic,” from sleeping habits to snowmobile accidents in Svalbard, top politicians still made headline appearances. The Prime Minister of Norway, along with Greenland’s Prime Minister and Finland’s Foreign Minister, spoke on Tuesday, the …

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Arctic Frontiers takes place in Tromsø, Norway

Arctic Frontiers takes place in Tromsø, Norway

Arctic Frontiers, an annual conference on development in the Arctic intended largely to bring together policy makers, scientists, and academics, took place for the ninth year in a row in Tromsø, Norway. The theme of this year’s conference focused on “Humans in the …

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Filling Ethiopia’s Power Void

Filling Ethiopia’s Power Void

East Africa is on the verge of personifying an energy transformation. New advances in natural gas, wind, geothermal, solar power and potentially oil are emerging to feed the hungry markets, while large hydro will continue to expand as well. Ethiopia, a country of 92 million and 7+ percent economic growth, …

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Oil companies real beneficiaries of forthcoming extension of Canadian highway to Arctic Ocean

Oil companies real beneficiaries of forthcoming extension of Canadian highway to Arctic Ocean

On January 8, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the extension of the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean’s coastline. The extension will lengthen the highway 137 kilometers, finally bringing an all-weather road to Tuk. The existing road, which …

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Global media interpretations of China’s rescue of stranded passengers off Antarctica vary

Global media interpretations of China’s rescue of stranded passengers off Antarctica vary

The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long‘s rescue of the passengers aboard the stranded Russian research vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy has made headlines around the world. Since December 24, the Russian ship has been stuck in pack ice near Antarctica’s Cape de la Motte, approximately 1,700 miles south of Tasmania. MV Akademik Shokalskiy was about midway through the month-long 

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Canadian and Russian claims to the Arctic: The allure of the North Pole

Canadian and Russian claims to the Arctic: The allure of the North Pole

“We do not give up the North Pole. Canada’s claims to the North Pole are no more than ambition.” So declared Russian polar explorer and scientist Artur Chilingarov on December 11, whom President Vladimir Putin named a “Hero of Russia” after he famously …

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Scientists report finding scandium, a potential rare earth element, in the Arctic

Scientists report finding scandium, a potential rare earth element, in the Arctic

I attended the American Geological Union (AGU) Fall Meeting this week in San Francisco. It’s billed as “the largest worldwide conference in geophysical science,” with over 20,000 attendants. There was a vast number of talks on the cryosphere, which I’ll try to cover over the next few days. One session I attended, …

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