27 July 2012
Global Energy Dilemmas: Energy Security, Globalization and Climate Change
The objective of this course is to examine the relationship between two of the greatest challenges currently facing the world, namely energy security and climate change. The growth of population, and the associated processes of economic development and urbanization, is driving demand for energy services. Unfortunately, the current fossil fuel energy system that dominates the global energy mix is also the major source of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that are the primary cause of climate change. Thus, the world faces a ‘Global Energy Dilemma:’ can it have secure and affordable access to energy services that are environmentally benign? Clearly, to overcome this dilemma the world must change the relationship between energy and development and, at the same time, embark on a transition to a low carbon energy system. The course is organized around the supposition that this global energy dilemma plays itself out in different ways in different parts of the world and that understanding these differences is essential to the success of energy and climate change policies. Furthermore, it sees the process of economic globalization as the essential ‘missing link; that ties together the issues of energy security and climate change.
The first part of the course explains the essentials of the energy system (in a non-technical manner) and then examines the historical relationship between energy, economic development and climate change. It then presents the ‘Global Energy Dilemmas Nexus,’ which is the geographical framework that organizes the rest of the course. The second section is then divided into fours sets of three lectures that in turn examine the specifics of the energy dilemmas facing: the developed countries of the OECD; the post-socialist states of Central Europe and the former Soviet Union; the emerging economies and the developing economies of the global South. In each case, two issues are examined in more detail. The final section considers the governance challenges that must be overcome if we are to find solutions to the energy dilemmas that we face that will also bring about a substantial reduction in GHG emissions.
By the end of this course you will have a clear understanding of the interrelationship between energy security and climate change and the role played by economic globalization. You will understand how these complexities play themselves out in the major world regions and will appreciate some of the key issues that face particular regions. Finally, you will appreciate the scale of the governance challenges that must be overcome to achieve the transition to the low carbon energy system that is essential to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Professor Michael J. Bradshaw
PhD students, postgraduate students
To provide PhD research training at the highest level
NOK 3200: The tuiton fee cover parts of the reading material, lunch every course day, as well as some social arrangements.