Global energy and security task force unveiled

A new task force to focus on the impact of energy on security and to examine ways of preventing energy-related conflict has been launched by the International Peace Institute (IPI).

The plan was unveiled at the annual World Future Energy Summit by the IPI, a policy research think tank, and Masdar, a renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi.

According to Masdar, the task force's purpose is to examine the linkage between energy and security and to strengthen multi-lateral mechanisms to promote cooperation and to prevent and defuse energy-related conflict.

"Energy should be a motor for development and cooperation, not a source of conflict," said Terje Roed-Larsen, president of IPI.

He used tensions in Northern Iraq, Southern Sudan, the Niger Delta and the East Mediterranean as examples of how competition for energy resources can cause instability. 

United Arab Emirates special envoy for energy and climate change, and CEO of Masdar, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, said: "With energy demand predicted to grow nearly 50% over the next 20 years, competition for resources will increase.

"Energy is therefore becoming a key piece of the global security puzzle. Any significant move to solve the energy crisis is also a step toward creating peace and stability among the nations of the world," he added.

The task force will look at the role of the private sector in promoting energy cooperation, and it will focus on a number of regions that are vulnerable to energy-related conflicts.

Special attention will be given to regions such as the Arctic, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Caspian, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa as well as West Africa.

"Our aim is to bring together the brightest minds in the fields of energy and security in order to promote evidence-based policies that can reduce tensions," said Roed-Larsen.

"This topic can only be addressed properly by involving experts from the private sector, the governments, and the research community," added Dr. Al Jaber.

Leigh Stringer


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