Until very recently Climate Protection and Energy Security have been viewed as largely contradictory or separate objectives. The Athens Summit on Climate Change and Energy Security strove to overthrow this zero-sum mentality.
E3G Chief Executive Nick Mabey has been a member of the advisory board planning the summit, and also contributed a major presentation for the session “The Environment and Energy Communities Meet: Finding Common Ground for Energy and Climate Security”.
Nick’s presentation “Beyond Zero Sum Politics: New Frameworks for delivering Global Climate and Energy Security” is attached here in pdf format for download. It outlines the need for closer cooperation between major energy consumers to secure energy and climate security; giving an agenda for collaboration to underpin and strengthen the UN climate change negotiations.
Commenting on the unprecedented nature of the summit, Nick Mabey said:
"We need to create more coherence between energy and climate change policies. The fact that the Athens Summit has brought together the energy security and climate change communities for the first time at a major event shows how far we have to go in developing a common vision of a clean and secure energy future."
Mainstream energy analysts are still predicting rapid growth in the use of oil and gas in the coming decades, and predicting increasing tensions over dwindling resources concentrated in a few unstable regions of the world.
But the logic of climate change requires concerted efforts to dramatically limit demand and expand low carbon, domestic energy sources which will provide a more secure energy future.
The cooperation needed between major energy consumers to accelerate the innovation and use of new clean technologies could also be the cornerstone of cooperation on traditional energy security issues such as managing stability in producing countries and ensuring transparency of fossil fuel reserves and revenues.
This would radically alter how we perceive and pursue ‘national interests’ in respect to energy security, with a movement away from the narrow focus of today’s state-led approaches, added Nick Mabey:
In the battle against climate change our most important relationships around energy will be with major consumers, and relationships with fossil fuel producing countries will become relatively less important.”