Foreign Policy Blogs

Energy & Environment

Coal Continues to Fuel Poland’s Growth

Coal Continues to Fuel Poland’s Growth

  From the time that Poland was selected as the host country for the next round of the United Nations climate change negotiations this upcoming November, there have been many skeptics. Poland is one of the nations most reliant on coal, the most carbon intensive of the fossil fuels, for its electricity – especially in […]

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State Department Says XL Pipeline Won’t Affect Oil Sands Development

State Department Says XL Pipeline Won’t Affect Oil Sands Development

The Department of State has released a 2000-page draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement regarding the XL Keystone Pipeline. In the words of the executive summary, the report “concludes that approval or denial of the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the […]

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EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement – Why the American Push Forward Now?

EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement – Why the American Push Forward Now?

  Not too long ago President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address in February the start of free trade negotiations with the European Union (EU). These negotiations are expected to take at least two years while any deal would have to be approved by the European Parliament. On the surface, that […]

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Estonia Taking Charge With Its New EV Network

Estonia Taking Charge With Its New EV Network

  Estonia, which joined the EU in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2011, officially unveiled its nation-wide electric vehicle (EV) network last week. The ex-Soviet republic designed its pioneering new fast-charging, web-connected network to eliminate “range anxiety,” improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The network’s current infrastructure includes 151 fast-charging stations with 14 additional […]

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American Energy Independence Might Not Change Things Much

American Energy Independence Might Not Change Things Much

Thanks to fracking and the oil rush in North Dakota, many analysts predict energy independence for North America, and even for the U.S. itself. The most recent high-profile prediction came from Citigroup’ s global commodities research team, headed by Edward Morse. They issued an 85-page report, which sadly is not available for free, on the […]

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Inching Towards Real North American Energy Security

Inching Towards Real North American Energy Security

In 2011, President Obama instructed the U.S. State Department to try to find a new route for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline citing environmental concerns. The concerns were especially related to a potential contamination of the Ogallala aquifer. This is an important groundwater source and therefore it makes sense to bypass the most sensitive areas […]

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France Extends a New Lifeline to Its Solar Industry

France Extends a New Lifeline to Its Solar Industry

  As France’s solar industry has not flourishing as planned, French President Francois Hollande and his administration recently extended a new lifeline to France’s struggling solar energy industry. France doubled the nation’s solar production capacity target for 2013 to 1 gigawatt (GW)—roughly equivalent to 1 nuclear reactor—from the previous 500 megawatt  (MW) target. Aside from increasing renewable […]

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Iran Admits Sanctions Hurt Revenue

Iran Admits Sanctions Hurt Revenue

Iran’s revenue from oil exports is off by 40% thanks to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU over the Iranian nuclear program.  Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told the budget commission of the Iranian parliament, “There has been a 40 percent decrease in oil sales and a 45 percent decrease in repatriating oil money.” […]

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A More Inclusive Global Energy Paradigm

A More Inclusive Global Energy Paradigm

As part of the European Union’s support for the U.N.’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, E.U. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced with visiting Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita that the E.U. would provide funding for a combined renewable energy and water desalinization plant. The plant, to be built near Djibouti City, is to provide water […]

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THE LAND OF THE RISING “NUCLEAR” SUN – AGAIN!

THE LAND OF THE RISING “NUCLEAR” SUN – AGAIN!

  The experiment is over. Japanese voters went to the polls just yesterday on December 16 to elect a new parliament and overwhelmingly voted incumbent Japanese Prime Minister Noda from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) out of office. Yoshihiko Noda, a former finance minister who wanted to curb Japan’s immense public debt, had only become Japan’s […]

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Not The Savior Once Hoped

Not The Savior Once Hoped

Not long ago jatropha curcas, a flowering plant in the jatropha family, was believed to be an efficient source for biofuels. The plant was viewed so advantageously due to its properties. Tests showed it could grow productively in some of the harshest conditions; such as on marginal land without fertilizer and during drought conditions. Not […]

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Will Iskandar Malaysia prove to be an eco-city model?

Will Iskandar Malaysia prove to be an eco-city model?

As COP 18 in Doha seems to have failed (as of writing) to reach a consensus on how to further climate change action for the future, Malaysia proves to be one developing country with a plan for internal action. The country has set ambitious emission reduction targets: by 2020 it has committed to cut it […]

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The Nexus between the Keystone XL Pipeline and Bending the CO2 Emissions Curve Downwards in the Long Term

The Nexus between the Keystone XL Pipeline and Bending the CO2 Emissions Curve Downwards in the Long Term

I spent the last week on a tour of the Canadian oil sands in Alberta talking to oil sands industry representatives, Government of Alberta officials – the regulator – and environmental think tanks. I am now back in New York with interesting insights, a far better understanding of “everything oil sands” and many thoughts I would […]

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General Wesley Clark on Energy and National Security 

General Wesley Clark on Energy and National Security 

After a panel discussion at New York University shortly before November’s election, General Wesley Clark (ret.) was kind enough to answer some questions regarding the national security dimension of America’s energy situation. This piece originally appeared in the Kensington Review. Q: What security threats bother you most when it comes to energy issues? General Clark: Over four decades, […]

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Round 18: Climate Talks Start in Doha

Round 18: Climate Talks Start in Doha

The United Nations climate change negotiations, or the long form: the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol, got underway today […]

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