Report

The Geopolitical Impact of Climate Mitigation Policies

April 18th 2017 - 15:59

At the Paris Climate Conference held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement – the first universal, legally binding global climate deal. The signatory parties committed themselves to a global action plan that aims to keep global warming to well below 2°C and to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

As part of our Geo-Economics research initiative, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies has investigated the geopolitical consequences of climate mitigation and energy transition among a number of countries richly endowed in hydrocarbons who potentially stand to lose a significant part of their revenue stream as a result of demand changes for fossil fuels. If demand for oil and gas demand were to decrease as a result of successful climate mitigation policies, the financial and social stability of these countries will – ceteris paribus – be negatively affected, especially if they fail to reform their domestic economies.

The presented study, entitled The Geopolitical Impact of Climate Mitigation Policies, employs a number of innovative investigative methods and analytical approaches to generate insights regarding sociopolitical stability in the wake of the world’s transition to renewable energy systems in a number of major oil- and gas-exporting nations near Europe. On top of this, the report looks closely at the energy situation in Sub-Saharan Africa and analyzes in detail which choices developing nations face with respect to their future energy mix.

Given the deep, and complex relationship between the global energy sector and international politics, these findings have numerous implications – both short and long term – for our future efforts to combat climate change while simultaneously fending off any consequential drivers of sociopolitical instability.

Download the study via the button on the right.

Sijbren de Jong is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS and lecturer in Geo-Economics at Leiden University, The Hague. He has a PhD in EU external energy security relations from the University of Leuven and holds degrees in Economic Geography (MSc) from the University of Groningen and Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (MA) from the University of Leuven. His geographical areas of expertise include Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Region; Central and Eastern Europe; and the Western Balkans.

Willem Oosterveld is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS. He holds degrees in political science, law and history, having studied in Amsterdam, Leiden, Paris, New York and Harvard. A former Fulbright scholar, he earned a PhD in the history of international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. 

Artur Usanov is a strategic analyst at HCSS. He has an MBA with distinction from the London Business School and an MSc in Engineering with distinction from Kaliningrad Technical University. He is also currently finishing his doctoral dissertation in policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Prior to HCSS, Artur worked at RAND Corporation in the U.S., the Kaliningrad Regional Economic Development Agency and the EastWest Institute in Russia. He also taught at Kaliningrad State Technical University and Kaliningrad International Business School.