An agency of the EU

Renewables: do they matter for foreign policy?

Briefs - No23 - 10 June 2013

Iana Dreyer

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Renewable energy (or ‘renewables’) has shot up the list of priorities of national energy policies over the last decade. Renewables can help reduce the world’s dependence on climate-damaging, CO2-emitting fossil fuels - which currently meet around four-fifths of the world’s energy needs - and can also contribute to security of supply by helping to diversify energy sources.

Yet despite these potential benefits, it is hard to identify a geopolitically significant ‘renewables’ dimension to global security or energy politics - at least to date. This does not, however, mean that international approaches to foster their development are to be excluded. As this brief proves, quite the contrary.