The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is launching a year-long global commission to look into the geopolitics of the post-carbon transition.
Chaired by former Icelandic president Olafur Grimsson and funded by Norway, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates, the commission “will examine the immediate and longer-term geopolitical implications of global energy transformation driven by large scale-up of renewable energy, in the context of global efforts to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development,” IRENA stated in a release. Director-General Adnan Z. Amin pointed to the “far-reaching effects on geopolitical dynamics” caused by “rapid and disruptive change” in the global energy landscape.
“Renewable energy resources are abundant, sustainable, and have the power to significantly improve energy access, security, and independence,” he said. “At the same time, the large-scale deployment of variable sources of renewable energy, such as solar PV and wind, is fostering greater cross-border energy trade and cooperation between nations.”
Grimsson called the geopolitics of changing energy systems “one of the most debated issues in the global energy agenda.” But “most geopolitical analyses of energy-related issues have focused on conventional fuels such as oil and gas,” the IRENA release noted. The commission “will review the implications of the ongoing global energy transformation underpinned by the surge in renewables and report on how it would impact the geopolitics of energy,” it stated, “based on rigorous and credible evidence.”