Ambitious climate targets and the new order of geopolitics

The global energy transformation driven by renewables will have significant implications on the geopolitical realities. To the extent that renewable energy reduces demand for oil and gas and increases energy independency of states, there will be significant geopolitical consequences: The energy transition is about to speed up through increased ambition to reduce C02 emissions by a number of states and regional entities. The European Union has committed itself in December 2019 to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and adopted the European Green Deal to pave the way for the road ahead. CO2 pricing schemes, coal exit plans and hydrogen strategies have considerably increased in numbers. At the same time, forward leaning energy transition policies were met by fierce opposition in some countries adding to polarization in societies and threatening governance on global commons.

Rentier states that still rely on fossil fuel exports and do not adapt to the energy transition will risk losing their influence and facing socio-economic consequences in the transformation process. Therefore, a number of major oil-producing countries are setting targets to increase the proportion of renewables in their energy mix.

The more fossil fuels will be replaced, R&D as well as critical resources e.g. for batteries will be a key success factor in the transition process and will become a new means of dependencies between states.

The session will highlight how countries are adopting to these developments and what could be a new pattern for the world map of geopolitics.