France’s losing gambit in atomic chess

Copenhagen, Dec. 17, 2009: French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a plenary session of COP15 UN Climate Change Conference was all business (source: dpa)
Copenhagen, Dec. 17, 2009: French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a plenary session of COP15 UN Climate Change Conference was all business (source: dpa)

Energy is a potent currency in geopolitical relations. For an example, look no further than Europe, where France and Russia have been engaged in an unspoken struggle for primacy in the nuclear power industry. At first France took the lead, as Areva looked like a global champion that could potentially free Europe from its dependence on carbon-emitting fuels ­– especially Russian imports. Now, in a neat bit of irony, it appears that Russia’s Rosatom has gained the upper hand.

Rewind to late September 2009. French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012) was in New York for pre-summit consultations before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen. At the time, Mr Sa...

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