Published 2017-10-31

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Natural resources, climate policy and security in focus for new programme

At the first event held by Mistra Geopolitics, the geopolitical implications of reduced demand for Russian oil and gas were raised. This programme focuses on making the Paris Agreement a reality, and started its work with a launch seminar.

At the seminar in early May, Nick Mabey of the influential E3G think tank in London explained how natural resources, climate policy and security issues are related. He described the drivers that make us, for example, build gas pipelines through Europe — pipelines that will quite soon become obsolete. This is just the kind of issue Mistra Geopolitics will address. Also on the agenda are issues relating to migration and competition for natural resources.

Held by Mistra’s new programme, the seminar marked the launch of an initiative that, on a broad front, will explore and critically examine the interaction between geopolitical trends and climate work, and investigate how global political and diplomatic initiatives can translate into action the fine words of the Paris Agreement.

Nick Mabey pinpointed an unresolved question: what happens to a huge country like Russia when demand for its main export products, oil and gas, is steadily shrinking?

‘We’re eating Russia’s lunch. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good answer on how to resolve that issue,’ he said.

Mistra Geopolitics will work until 2020. The programme is led by the Stockholm Environmental Institute, but engages researchers from four universities — Lund, Linköping, Stockholm and Uppsala— and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).