GIS Dossier: Failed global climate policies
Since the 1990s, the international community has been trying to keep climate change under control – with less than stellar results. Despite initiatives like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol or the 2015 Paris Agreement, global temperatures are still well on track to increase by 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels – the threshold scientists say could lead to dangerous climate effects. Geopolitics and market forces are mostly behind this failure – as GIS experts have been pointing out for some time. In this Dossier, we bring together the analyses that paint the picture of how we got here.
The many faces of Rosneft
Over the past decade or so, Russian oil giant Rosneft has concluded some eye-popping deals and more than doubled production. But its rapid growth has been based on questionable deals and huge debts. Behind the scenes, its CEO, Igor Sechin, has mastered Kremlin power plays. But his circle of enemies is growing. The future of Russia’s oil industry will hinge on how far he continues to push the envelope and whether Rosneft can overcome the legacy he has built.
GIS Dossier: Iran’s rise
Iran has methodically built up its influence in the Middle East to become one of the most important powers in the region. It has a growing foothold in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar. Its rise has inflamed tensions with Saudi Arabia, while a nascent rapprochement with the U.S. has withered under President Donald Trump. It is stepping up military interventions abroad, but remains deeply divided at home. This edition of our Dossier series reviews how Iran got here and our experts’ predictions about what this means for the region and the world.
The long road ahead for electric vehicles
The rise in popularity of electric vehicles has generated plenty of hype. But they still make up a tiny percentage of cars on the road, and are expensive relative to their gasoline- and diesel-burning counterparts. So far, their impact on the environment is minimal, even excluding the fossil fuels it takes to make them and the resource exploitation required for their batteries. While advances in technology can always surprise, there is no reason to expect the demise of the internal combustion engine anytime soon.
Decarbonization and global instability
The fight against climate change is currently focused on managing demand and increasing production from non-fossil-fuel sources. But those efforts disregard the strategic interests of major oil- and gas-producing states that depend on exports. Until those countries have an alternative for economic development, keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius will remain a pipe dream.
Too much oil?
Oil prices were supposed to stabilize in 2017, but instead they dropped by about 20 percent. The reason appears to be more technological progress in the shale industry and the ineffectiveness of OPEC’s production cuts. In response, the oil cartel may decide to reverse its strategy and punish high-cost competitors by increasing supply – sending prices even lower.
The UAE balances oil riches with green energy drive
The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s leading oil producers, and gets 100 percent of its electricity from burning natural gas. However, this fossil fuel-dependent country has big ambitions to become a champion of green energy. Though the goals look achievable, market realities mean oil is likely to play the dominant role in its economy.