Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Showing posts for "Global Energy Security"

Extracting Justice: Battling Corruption in Resource-Rich Africa

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Local residents' clothes dry over the gas pipelines running through the Eleme community near the city of Port Harcourt, a major Nigerian oil hub in the country's southeast. Local residents' clothes dry over the gas pipelines running through the Eleme community near the city of Port Harcourt, a major Nigerian oil hub in the country's southeast (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Isabella Bennett, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

Beyond the Nuclear Security Summit: What Remains on the U.S. Agenda

by Stewart M. Patrick
President Obama delivers a speech on his nuclear agenda in Hradcany Square in Prague, April 5, 2009. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters) President Obama delivers a speech on his nuclear agenda in Hradcany Square in Prague, April 5, 2009. (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters)

Coauthored with Martin Willner, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

President Obama deserves praise for spearheading global efforts to address the threat of nuclear terrorism. As countries gathered for this week’s Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, it was clear that countries had made real progress in securing the world’s most dangerous weapons. Read more »

Environmental Security Goes Mainstream: Natural Resources and National Interests

by Stewart M. Patrick
The Nile and the Sinai Peninsula are pictured in this handout photo courtesy of Col. Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, who is photographing Earth from the International Space Station. (Chris Hadfield/Courtesy Reuters) The Nile and the Sinai Peninsula are pictured in this handout photo courtesy of Col. Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, who is photographing Earth from the International Space Station. (Chris Hadfield/Courtesy Reuters)

Not long ago, concerns about environmental degradation were marginal in U.S. national security deliberations. What a difference climate change has made. Foreign policy officials and experts are starting to recognize profound linkages between planetary health, economic prosperity, and international security. These connections were on full view Wednesday, when the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) teamed up with Conservation International (CI) to convene a symposim,“Global Resources, the U.S. Economy, and National Security.” The livestreamed event (available here) assembled intelligence officials, development economists, defense experts, conservation biologists, and corporate executives to discuss the rapid degradation of the earth’s natural endowments and its dire implications for long term prosperity and stability. The provocative conversation ranged far beyond global warming to assess the implications of deforestation and desertification, collapsing fisheries, habitat destruction, and water scarcity.  That these topics were broached at CFR—an august institution traditionally concerned with issues like Middle East peace, nuclear proliferation, or China’s rise—shows how central the subject of sustainability has become for foreign policy professionals. Read more »

Through the Glass Darkly: What U.S. Intelligence Predicts for 2030

by Stewart M. Patrick
The NIC suggests that urbanization is the one of the key future global trends. (Courtesy Ricardo Moraes/Reuters) The NIC suggests that urbanization is the one of the key future global trends. (Courtesy Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

Mathew Burrows, counselor to the National Intelligence Council, may have the most fascinating job in Washington. Every four to five years he coordinates the U.S. intelligence community’s crystal-ball gazing exercise, which imagines what the future will bring fifteen to twenty years hence. The sixth and most recent installment, Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, offers an eye-opening  glimpse into the turbulent world we will inherit as middle classes grow, power shifts to developing countries, demographics change, and humanity confronts daunting ecological constraints. Read more »

Governing and Protecting the World’s Oceans: Still At Sea in Rio

by Stewart M. Patrick
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon reacts as he talks to journalists during a news conference after the opening of the Rio+20 United Nations sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 20, 2012 (Nacho Doce/Courtesy Reuters). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon reacts as he talks to journalists during a news conference after the opening of the Rio+20 United Nations sustainable development summit in Rio de Janeiro June 20, 2012 (Nacho Doce/Courtesy Reuters).

As the UN Conference on Sustainable Development—more popularly known by its moniker, “Rio+20”—wraps up today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, initial reports from the summit are bleak. The final outcome document, painstakingly hashed out in down-to-the-wire negotiations, contains few concrete and time-specific commitments. The World Wildlife Federation dubbed the text a “colossal failure,” a sentiment echoed by the European Union, which lamented the document’s “lack of ambition.” Read more »

Eating Our Seed Corn: Warnings from the Global Sustainability Report

by Stewart M. Patrick
An illegal logger cuts down a tree to be turned into planks for construction in a forest south of Sampit, in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province November 14, 2010.  Indonesia has one of the planet's fastest rates of deforestation (Yusuf Ahmad/Courtesy Reuters). An illegal logger cuts down a tree to be turned into planks for construction in a forest south of Sampit, in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province November 14, 2010. Indonesia has one of the planet's fastest rates of deforestation (Yusuf Ahmad/Courtesy Reuters).

Last week, as the world’s media focused on the deepening crisis over Syria, it missed a less pressing story with profound long-term implications. The High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, released a sobering assessment for the world’s seven billion inhabitants. The document—Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing­­—offers humanity a stark choice: modify our patterns of production and consumption, or risk crashing through the “planetary boundaries” of growth and social progress. Read more »

Americans on Renewable Energy

by Stewart M. Patrick
An aerial view of the shale oil drilling rig SAI-307 in the Patagonian province of Neuquen October 14, 2011. (Enrique Marcarian/Courtesy Reuters) An aerial view of the shale oil drilling rig SAI-307 in the Patagonian province of Neuquen October 14, 2011. (Enrique Marcarian/Courtesy Reuters)

With Iran threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, energy security is once again at the top of the global agenda—and not just in Rick Perry’s debate talking points. But true “energy security” will require more than independence from unreliable or unstable suppliers. It will also oblige governments and companies to invest in a wider range of energy sources—many of them renewable. That is the message of the World Future Energy Summit, which opened in Abu Dhabi this week. In his keynote address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the world to double its use of renewable energy by 2030. Ban’s words should resonate strongly in the United States, according to a new digest of polls on energy security released by the International Institutions and Global Governance program and worldpublicopinion.org. Read more »