Azerbaijan’s ongoing dispute with Turkey about transit terms and revenues for natural gas heading to Europe across Anatolia, as well as uncertainties about the Nabucco pipeline project, have compelled highest-level officials at Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) to publicly consider the option of exporting hydrocarbons eastward, potentially to China and other East Asian markets.
What international agreement produced 10 times the climate benefits of Kyoto and could produce several times more greenhouse gas reductions than any post-2012 climate agreement? The answer: the Montreal protocol, which Kofi Annan described as “perhaps the most successful international agreement to date”. Because a new climate agreement is unlikely to emerge in Copenhagen in December, it is time to look for possible interim alternative ideas in the Montreal protocol, which supporters call the best kept secret in the war against climate change.
Sixty-eight years and two days ago, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor awakened what Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto called a "sleeping giant." Nearly 60 years later, the attacks that turned civilian airliners into weapons made Sept. 11, 2001, a second day of infamy. Americans were shocked and outraged.
I am flying aboard a Grumman C2-1 Greyhound, a powerful twin-engine turboprop nicknamed “COD” for Carrier Onboard Delivery. It's the U.S. Navy's aerial workhorse — its Jeep so to speak — ferrying passengers, cargo, engines, spare parts and whatever else is needed back and forth from land to the fleet's aircraft carriers. We're about 100 miles off the Florida coast, three minutes away from landing aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman — HST for short — where we will spend the next 24 hours.
Amid the flurry of discussion caused by “climate-gate” and debates about CO2 emission caps, the relationship between climate change and security is likely to be overlooked in Copenhagen. Unlike traditional security issues like nuclear warheads, missile proliferation, or naval modernization, climate change often escapes national security discussions. Ozone depletion, CO2 emissions, and rising sea levels are clearly environmental concerns, but these issues are simultaneously economic and impact human security. R. K. Pachauri,Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made this clear when he accepted his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
“Will Turkey join the European Union? That’s up to the Europeans. All we see is that when we go to Europe they treat us like we are nothing – whereas in the Middle East they look up to us.” Such were the words of a Turkish diplomat I spoke to in Washington recently.
Lost amidst the doom and gloom over global warming and energy dependence on the Middle East and Russia is the fact that new technologies and drilling techniques are allowing recovery of gas trapped in shale and gradually but inexorably transforming the global energy security equation. For all the hopes of transitioning to renewable energy sources, as the Copenhagen climate talks underscore, the reality is that fossil fuels will continue to be predominant for the coming decade and probably longer. And as the cleanest of fossil fuels, natural gas will likely remain the fuel of choice.