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The 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment, released on February 13, includes climate change among the identified threats to global stability. While many have pointed to the gap between this assessment and the rhetoric of US President Donald J. Trump—and the noticeable absence of climate change from his administration’s 2017 National Security Strategy—the worldwide threat assessment underscores a continuity in the identification of climate change as a security challenge across broad swaths of the US government. However, the mention of climate change as a threat is less criticism directed at the White House than reiteration of a consistent theme found in past Worldwide Threat Assessments.   

Climate change has been included in the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s assessments, which began in 2006, for many years. Climate change was first included in the 2009 Worldwide Threat Assessment, and the language in the 2018 assessment about the impact on food, energy, and water resources, echoes similar themes.
China’s new emissions trading scheme (ETS) may set the country on a path to achieving its goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, but concerns regarding effective emissions cuts have raised questions about the efficacy of the new policy.

In December of 2017, China launched its national greenhouse gas emissions trading market, creating the world's largest carbon market. While the highly anticipated policy announcement has been met with excitement, the Chinese government has yet to clarify fundamental questions regarding the market’s operation, the details of which will determine whether the policy is a real driver to curb emissions or merely a public relations maneuver.
Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus, the southern Greek side of the divided island, on January 28 could provide an opportunity to restart reunification talks that collapsed last year. The very real prospect of energy cooperation should serve as a catalyst for those talks.

The two sides have missed past opportunities to come to a political understanding based on mutual energy needs. They must not do so again.

This article is part of a series that reflects on the first year of the Trump administration. 

In the first year of his administration, US President Donald J. Trump pursued what he called an “America First” energy strategy, seeking to maximize domestic production of oil and gas resources by rolling back regulations, lifting restrictions, and opening additional land up for development.

This article is part of a series that reflects on the first year of the Trump administration.

Despite the fanfare surrounding US President Donald J. Trump’s June 1, 2017, announcement that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement there is a drawn-out legal process for withdrawing from the pact.
Women are a rare sight at the headquarters of Saudi Aramco, and they’re almost never seen in the oilfields. Hiba Dialdin wants to change that—even if it means changing the entire corporate culture of the largest petroleum conglomerate on Earth.

Dialdin, a petroleum engineering consultant at Saudi Aramco, was one of five women to speak January 13 in Abu Dhabi at a panel during the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum. The discussion coincided with the release of the Council’s report, “Energy: Driving Force Behind Increasing Female Participation in the Gulf?”

International Energy Agency chief, Fatih Birol, says China’s shift toward renewables has global implications

Sharply falling prices for solar energy, China’s new pro-environment policies, and emerging US dominance in world oil and gas production are all shaping global energy markets for decades to come, said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Delivering a keynote address January 13 on the second and final day of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, Birol said the cost of solar power will tumble by half in the next three years as major countries turn to the sun as their preferred source of energy.

At the same time, he said, China’s new economic policy favors a shift from heavy industry such as manufacturing to a lighter, more modern and less polluting economic base.
Stabilizing petroleum prices, “peak oil,” and the implications of a possible collapse of the Iran nuclear deal dominated a January 13 panel discussion in Abu Dhabi on the long-term future of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

But for now, OPEC’s fourteen members have little to worry about, Mohammad Barkindo—the organization’s Nigerian secretary general—assured participants on the second and final day of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum.

“We have survived so many funerals, and we are so proud of being the proverbial cat with nine lives,” said Barkindo, who in August 2016 assumed leadership of the Vienna-based organization for a three-year term.
US Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, on January 13 lashed out at what he described as the “war on coal” in the United States which, he said, had thwarted the construction of clean power plants, discouraged investments in new mining operations, and, as a result, put the nation at risk.

Noting that coal and nuclear account for more than half of the total grid energy in the United States, Brouillette said: “When a crisis strikes our grid these two fuels are some of the most reliable that we have. They are available 24x7 to keep the lights on and disaster away.”

“So, clearly, fewer coal and nuclear plants mean that the lights will go out and stay out when we face our next emergency. From the functioning of our hospitals to the maintenance of our military assets, the results could be catastrophic,” he warned.


    

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