Trade has often been touted as an area where Washington and European capitals – with a little help from Brussels – could create common ground. While regulatory challenges abound, what role does energy play in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?
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.