Political Consensus and the Energy Transition
By Sam Hampton, Julia De La Cruz, and Henning Huenteler

There has been a global push toward finding a way to reduce the impact of climate change. In an attempt to help achieve this goal, countries have made changes to move toward low-carbon economies. Comparing transitions toward a low-carbon economy in the United Kingdom (UK), United States, Germany, and Denmark show the divergence of approaches alongside surprising similarities in public opinion. While focusing specifically on the de-carbonization of electricity as the primary component of the transition, the authors and ELEEP alumni analyze how public and political support for energy transitions have been influenced by price, public opinion, and historical context.

Energiewende: From Germany’s Past to Europe’s Future?
By Thomas Cunningham

Germany’s historical experience explains how the energy transition (Energiewende) came about, and largely explains the resilience of the policies to abandon nuclear power and to scale-up renewables in the face of the challenges they have posed to Germany’s consumers, utilities, and international competitiveness. Whereas the success of the Energiewende to date has come from the way it takes a unifying approach to energy, environment, and labor policies, its success will require expanding the scope from a German to an EU-wide scale.

The Outlook for Energy Under a Trump Administration
By David L. Goldwyn

Oil, gas, and renewable energy markets will face high levels of uncertainty and potentially extreme volatility under a Trump administration in 2017. Some of these uncertainties flow from questions about the new administration’s yet-undefined policies on energy production, trade, and climate policy. Others flow from the basket of national security risks that a new US President was destined to inherit.

Global Energy Debates and the Eastern Mediterranean
By Ayla Gürel Moran, Harry Tzimitras, and Hubert Faustmann

In the Eastern Mediterranean, which is characterised more by conflict than cooperation, persistent conscious effort is needed to minimise the effects of narrow-minded populism or politicisation of issues. Such attitudes are particularly unhelpful when it comes to realising the potential of the region’s hydrocarbons through solutions that are optimal both commercially and in public interest terms. This is a job that requires calm, serious planning by cognisant, and responsible policy makers. Another condition that could be crucial in ensuring the best outcomes is the existence of an informed public debate on the topic – a debate that is based on facts, developments and expert analyses relating to the energy situation at various levels.

Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries
By Robert F. Ichord, Jr

As the Paris Agreement on Climate Change enters into force on November 4, 2016, signatories will face the challenges of transforming their energy sectors into more efficient, lower-carbon systems. Driven by economic growth, urbanization and population increases, most of future energy growth will be in the developing, non-OECD counties. The power sector will be especially critical to emissions mitigation and countries must establish the policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks for mobilizing the large investments needed to meet their NDCs in an affordable and sustainable manner. Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries: A Strategic Framework for Post-Paris Action, authored by Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr., offers a strategic framework to understand and address the challenges and hard choices developing countries face in moving to a cleaner energy mix while expanding access to those without electricity. Dr. Ichord will apply this framework to other countries and regions in the non-OECD world in subsequent Atlantic Council publications in coming months.

The Waning of Petrocaribe? Central America and Caribbean Energy in Transition
By David L. Goldwyn, Cory R. Gill

Petrocaribe, Caracas’ eleven-year-old energy and diplomatic alliance, is weakening. As Venezuela spirals closer to economic demise, the United States and the international community have an unprecedented opportunity to support Central America and the Caribbean’s transition away from Petrocaribe. A report released today by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center proposes new strategies for the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean to advance together toward a more sustainable energy future. As regional leaders prepare to meet in Washington, DC on May 4 to discuss energy security, now is the time to take immediate steps to prepare against the inevitable destabilization that will result from Venezuela’s collapse.

Is Latin America the New Global Leader in Renewable Energy?
By Mae Lousie Flato

Latin America is poised to take on a lead role on climate change and renewable energy in the global arena in 2017. The enormous potential and rapid spread of renewable energy in the region has fueled hope of a global transition to a low-carbon economy. The added bonus: an economic opportunity that extends well beyond the borders of Latin America.

Trump’s Energy, Climate Positions Causing Concern
By Ashish Kumar Sen

While there is “quite a bit of concern” about the direction of US President-elect Donald Trump’s energy policy, he is unlikely to take the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement for the simple reason that doing so would cause “huge collateral damage” to the United States, Todd Stern, a former US State Department special envoy for climate change, said in Abu Dhabi on January 13.

A Natural Gas Diplomacy Strategy for the New US Administration
By Agnia Grigas

With the new US presidential administration of Donald J. Trump, a newly elected Congress, and the recent transformative developments in the US gas sector, a reassessment of the role of natural gas, energy policies, and impacts on international diplomacy are crucial. As the geopolitics of natural gas undergo significant shifts, the US has the opportunity to play the role of leader in the global gas markets with its newfound energy prowess as an emerging producer of natural gas and LNG exporter.

Climate Change and US National Security: Past, Present, Future
By Peter Engelke and Daniel Chiu Sen

Climate Change and US National Security is the latest report from Strategic Foresight Initiative Senior Fellow Dr. Peter Engelke and Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Dr. Daniel Y. Chiu. It is a part of the Transatlantic Partnership for the Global Future, an initiative that brings together experts from government, business, academia, and the science and technology communities to address critical global challenges and assess their effects on the future of transatlantic relations. The Partnership is a collaboration between the Strategic Foresight Initiative and the Government of Sweden.

A US Strategy for Sustainable Energy Security
By David Koranyi

The national energy system of the United States is aging and has to be renewed in a dynamic fashion to adapt to the transformative changes in the world of energy. Failure to do so will result in substantial economic disadvantage and national security vulnerabilities, and risk the United States’ position as the leading global power in the twenty-first century. The need for modernization represents a unique opportunity to upgrade the United States to a cutting edge system of energy hardware and software. Moreover, climate change is a severe threat to the United States and an existential one to much of the rest of humanity. Climate change represents an ever growing, direct risk to the American people as extreme weather events wreak havoc, rising sea levels engulf coastal cities, and natural beauties and wildlife habitats degrade.

Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries: The Critical Role of China in Post-Paris Implementation
By Robert F. Ichord, Jr.

The global transformation of the electric power sector will be one of the key factors determining the success of the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change in curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Since the International Energy Agency projects that almost 90 percent of world growth in electricity generation in 2014-2040 will occur in developing and non-OECD countries, increasing investment in clean energy and changing the electricity mix in these countries are of critical importance. China’s role will be central, accounting for an estimated one-third of future electricity growth in the non-OECD countries.