What Next for Energy and Environmental Diplomacy?
The coincidence of the occurrence of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the publication of President Obama’s first National Security Strategy provide an opportunity to make energy and the environment the basis of an integrated 21st-century transatlantic and international diplomacy. The author suggests six ways to do this. First, reducing oil dependence improves national security and is a possible foundation for an increasingly strategic U.S.-EU relationship. Second, the impacts of climate change will have consequences for national security. Third, energy security could be part of the long-term counter-insurgency strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Fourth, China, India, Australia, and the United States could lead efforts to develop effective clean coal technology. Fifth, a comprehensive diplomatic approach will be essential to avert a struggle for fresh-water resources. Sixth, Europe and the United States should refocus their attention on the politics of Eurasian oil and gas pipelines. These and other practical diplomatic steps to create more opportunities to live sustainably should be on the agenda for NATO and other transatlantic and international meetings