What will the energy systems of the future look like? (Credit: TebNad/Bigstock)
What will the energy systems of the future look like? (Credit: TebNad/Bigstock) (via: bit.ly)

The study of global energy security in the context of socio-philosophical problems is necessary because global energy security has already been transformed from a purely technical and economic system, into a socio-forming and ontological system (OCHA, 2010; The Quaker Council for European Affairs, 2010; Stoddard, 2013, etc.).

Executive Summary

In this report I attempt to identify global energy security’s key socio-philosophical and political issues, in order to seek a new model for the efficient and stable operation of this system. As a basis for the formation of such a model, I propose the development of an important ontological system, ‘the energy security of the person’.

This development implies a revision of the relationship between humans and nature, as well as an identification of the main spiritual and ethical problems determining humans’ uncontrolled consumption of energy resources. The proposed model should include the uninterrupted self-knowledge of individual human beings and the realisation of their spiritual and intellectual potential, which will inevitably lead to a revision of the stereotypes of spontaneous consumer behaviour. Otherwise, humans may face the risk of becoming elements of the consumer cycle, or in other words, a resource for the ideological construction of the ‘consumer society’, as proposed by the philosopher Jean Baudrillard.

I attempt to determine the civilisational significance of energy and its influence on the formation of social and inter-state relations. I also study demographic aspects of global energy security, and I affirm that the growth of the world population and the global increase of energy consumption are not directly correlated.

The report has an interdisciplinary essence and it is based on the methodological apparatus of philosophy, economics, political science, and social psychology.

 

1Energy Security as a Scientific Category

 

The Main Research Direction of the Report

Among the contemporary world’s constant increase of risks and threats in different areas of human activity, security is one of the most important, and at the same time one of the most controversial, categories in scientific, political, economic fields. There are many definitions of the category in scientific literature, and it has already turned into a philosophical category as an important precondition for the life of the human, the state, and society (Langlois-Bertrand, 2010).

According to the traditional classification of human needs (Maslow’s pyramid), after physiological needs, the need for security is one of the basic or civilisational ones. It expresses the desire of a human being to safeguard and defend life, and to protect oneself, relatives, and home from invasion, natural disasters, or any kind of discomfort. Security and physiological needs enable the further development of human civilisation and culture, which in turn includes social, prestige-related, and spiritual needs.

In general, security results from activity that ensures the security of the individual, society, and the state. These three components form a multilevel system of national, regional, and international security, by protecting the vital interests of individuals (citizens), society, the state, and also national values ​​and lifestyles, from a wide range of external and internal threats that differ in nature (e.g., political, military, economic, informational, environmental).

Thus, security involves qualitatively different elements, which are commonly understood through the analysis and evaluation of various external and internal threats. In this report I focus on one of the main elements of national and international security: energy security, which has become one of the most important kernels in the current system of international relations.

Within the framework of the report, I will try to prove the following thesis:

The problem of a continuous process of human image formation ‘as a consumer’ is key to the philosophical understanding of global energy security. Being an insatiable consumer of energy (and other) resources, the individual is considered a resource for the construction of various ideological structures, which require examination and assessment in terms of social philosophy and psychology.

This means that in contemporary conditions, humanity becomes a resource for implementing the ideological construction of a society of consumption. Therefore, we need to rethink the traditional thesis – that immense consumption of natural resources leads humanity to spiritual crisis – regarding this problem. The basic problem is that the psychology of reckless consumption instilled in human beings through the media, pop culture, etc., inevitably leads to alignment of human activity with the principle of consumption, which includes energy consumption. In short, we should apply a logical chain, ‘spiritual crisis – immense consumption – spiritual crisis’, instead of ‘immense consumption – spiritual crisis’. This latter chain leads to a constant widening of energy infrastructure, especially in developed countries where energy consumption is higher than in transition countries or ‘developing’ countries. It is obvious that the average amount of energy consumed by the average resident of the US or Europe is much higher than the amount of energy consumed by the inhabitants of Africa and South Asia. But it is also important to outline the active struggle undertaken by key political actors for traditional energy resources (oil, gas, etc.) and features of energy infrastructure (pipelines, power plants, etc.). In some regions these struggles turn into long international and civil wars and even provoke mass purges of local populations, often with all the characteristics of genocide.

When investigating the problems of global energy security, we should therefore focus our efforts on building a system of ‘human security’. In the context of this report I offer the following definition of ‘human security’: human security is a system in which humanity is not susceptible to spiritual crisis, and is not considered a resource for the implementation of ideological constructions such as the post-modern design of consumer society. Although this approach is not popularly practiced today, it brings together the fixed, yet rarely compiled, principles of contemporary political, economic, spiritual, and social life: anthropocentrism, eco-centrism, and democratisation. It is therefore necessary to determine methods for constructing a ‘human security’ system that includes a ‘human energy security’ subsystem, directly related to the culture of consumption.

 

The Concept of Energy Security

In turn, we also need to define the concept of energy security. In accordance with the thoughts of Daniel Yergin, the current model of energy security, which was born out of the 1973 crisis, focuses primarily on how to handle any disruption of oil supply from producing countries. Today, the concept of energy security needs to be expanded to include the protection of the entire energy supply chain and infrastructure – an awesome task (Yergin, 2006). The varieties of approaches to defining energy security will be discussed in the following section.

 

The Role of the Philosophical Method in the Study of Global Energy Security

At the present level of development and diversification of scientific knowledge, the role of philosophy seems vague and blurred. This issue is particularly relevant today, when society has developed the need for industry-driven trends in science, such as nanotechnology, environmental trends, etc. In precisely this respect, philosophy may have methodological significance in the development of new scientific knowledge that aims to solve problems in today’s world. The very formulation of our theme – ‘global energy security as an ontological system’– suggests the need to consider problems of world energy in the philosophical context, using philosophical research methods. This is especially important because achieving global energy security is an issue that is conceptual in nature, and its consideration when limited within particular sciences is highly inefficient. Therefore, an appeal to the philosophical method determines the interdisciplinary nature of our research.

At present, due to the number of philosophical categories and principles, many distinct theories and new interdisciplinary sciences are forming. It is necessary to consider what kind of functions philosophy performs in relation to specialised sciences; this will help us identify the basic philosophical methods used in this report. Three main functions of the philosophical method can be identified: heuristic, integrative, and coordinating (Alexeev, Panin, 2005).

The essence of the heuristic function (Greek: heurisko – retrieve, open) is to study the methods used in the discovery of new knowledge. Consequently, the task of the heuristic function is to create prerequisites for the development of new scientific knowledge.

One of the most important functions performed by the philosophical method in relation to the special sciences is the integrative (from the Latin integration – restoration) function. The essence of this is to create the necessary preconditions for the interaction of individual sciences, which often leads to the creation of new scientific disciplines.

Philosophy also coordinates the methods in the process of scientific research, so the coordinating function of the philosophical method emerges here. The essence of this function is the coordination of methods in the process of scientific research. The need for the coordination of private methods arises against the background of considerably more complicated relations between the subject and the method, with the aim of having a counterbalance to the negative factors associated with the deepening specialisation of scientists.

Therefore, all three basic functions of the philosophical method should be used when studying problems of global energy security. The heuristic role within this report is to create new knowledge about global energy security; the integrative role is to create a necessary platform for the inter-penetration of different particular sciences (economics, sociology, statistics, political science, geopolitics, history, etc.), as well as to create new interdisciplinary knowledge of global energy security; the coordinating function is interesting primarily because it determines the scope of the report and the set of methods necessary for understanding the problems raised.

It should also be noted that in addition to the functions mentioned above, philosophy also plays an important role from the psychological perspective. Karl Popper, in his book The Logic of Scientific Discovery, writes that the scientist must believe in his creativity; that is why he requires a belief in the speculative philosophical construction that begins with the construction of scientific theories. Setting the principle of falsification against Wittgenstein’s principle of verification, Popper concludes that philosophical statements can increase the empirical content of scientific contexts; they can enrich the theory they belong to, and thereby increase the degree of falsifiability (Popper, 2005). Here, we can derive another – psychological –function of the philosophical method.

Directly addressing the methodological basis of the report, one should note that because the report is an attempt to comprehensively and conceptually understand global energy security, we should first of all appeal to the method of structural analysis, using functional decomposition, i.e., the decomposition of a large and complex problem into a number of sub-targets, in this case:

  • Definitions of global energy security;
  • Identification of ontological problems within the investigated problems;
  • Economic and statistical aspects;
  • Socio-philosophical problems;
  • Political and geopolitical problems;
  • Moral and psychological problems.

On the other hand, this decomposition may also be carried out at the subtask level. Structuring the problem in this way, we have the opportunity to penetrate deeper into its various aspects, and only then are we able to understand the whole problem at its most complex level, and able to make adequate conclusions, both in particular and in general.

The methodology is also based on a complex approach that includes analysis of the scientific and normative literature, analysis of mass media, and a study of contemporary energy security practice that involves the identification of influence from social-philosophical and political components. The report uses the system-functional method, content analysis, and factor analysis, followed by evaluation of the most rational models for ensuring global energy security.

 

Definitions of Energy Security

As one of the most complex components of the multilayer system of national security, energy security requires a deep and multilevel study. This applies not only within the traditionally adopted framework of economic, technical, natural, and political sciences, but also – with the appropriate methodological apparatus – in philosophy. However, the application of a multilevel study of this kind calls for access to the categorical apparatus of philosophy, and does so in a way that is not common practice within the framework of modern science, which focuses on problems of energy security. This can be justified because the use of philosophical methods and categories is primarily necessary due to the transformation of energy security from a purely technical and economic system, into a socio-forming ontological system.

For a number of economic, political, and technical reasons, energy security is currently exposed to a number of threats and risks. These threats and risks can be both internal and external: internal ones mostly boil down to technical or management problems, while external ones are primarily caused by political, and often geopolitical and geo-economic problems. In order to gain the most comprehensive understanding of such threats, and seek their further elimination or minimisation, we should turn to a few definitions of energy security.

The World Energy Council (WEC) defines energy security as “the belief that energy will be available in the quantity and quality that are required in the present economic conditions” (World Energy Council, 2013). It is evident that similar definitions in no way reflect actual energy security threats because they relate only to the economic side of the system.

Experts from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) offer a more comprehensive, multi-faceted definition of energy security: “energy security is a stable system that is able to withstand energy threats by consistent implementation of the necessary measures, active surveillance and protection, renovation of old equipment, diversification of fuels and other energy sources, ensuring the availability of less vulnerable infrastructure” (Matthew, Rewey, Gagliano, 2003). Alongside aspects of infrastructure and management, the authors of this definition pragmatically point out political factors; they note that the attention of politicians is particularly focused on energy security risks in crisis periods. As an example, the authors discuss the terrorist attacks in the United States of 11 September 2001, which had a direct impact on the architecture of the global energy market, and consequently, on the international energy security system.

 

The European Commission defines energy security as a multifaceted system. In order to provide energy security, the following five principles should be implemented:

 

  1. Energy security, solidarity, and trust. This principle focuses on diversification of supply (especially for gas), on the improvement of member state coordination in response to crises, on a stronger European role in global energy markets, and on higher levels of transparency in the supply of gas.
  2. A fully integrated European energy market. This focuses on ‘hardware’ (such as pipelines) to link markets through physical interconnections, as well as on ‘software’, like enforcing energy-related legislation and removing regulatory barriers to integration. It also targets increased regional cooperation and a stronger focus on consumers and vulnerable energy customers (generally the poor and the elderly, for whom affordability is a key issue).
  3. Energy efficiency, contributing to a moderation of demand. This principle focuses on increasing energy efficiency, particularly in the construction and transport sectors.
  4. Decarbonising the economy. This focuses on integrating the 2030 Climate and Energy Package into the European Energy Union process, maintaining the EU Emissions Trading System, and retaining world leadership in renewable energy.
  5. The principle of research, innovation, and competitiveness focuses on developing a new strategy for research and innovation in areas such as renewables, smart grids, carbon capture and storage, and nuclear technology (European Commission, 2015).

 

In Russia, energy security is usually defined as saving the economy from threats to reliable fuel and energy supplies. These threats, in turn, are defined by external factors (e.g., geopolitics, macroeconomics, periodic crises), and the condition and operation of the state energy sector (Russia’s Energy Strategy 2020, 2003). It is noted that national security is one of the main objectives of energy policy, and special attention is given to the sustainability of the energy sector, as well as its ability to minimise damage from various destabilising factors. Here, risks presented by political reasons are considered: war; terrorism; and increased systemic competition in international relations. Protection from such risks is an important component of national security. It can therefore be stated that energy security is not only an important component of national security, but a key method of guaranteeing its maintenance and protection.

Attempts to generalise and systematise definitions of energy security, available both in scientific and official literature, are made by different researchers. There are currently three complementary definitions of energy security used across the breadth of literature

 

  • Energy security – the belief that the necessary amount and quality of energy required will exist under certain economic conditions;
  • Energy security – the state of protection of the vital ‘energy interests’ of citizens, society, and state from internal and external threats;
  • Energy security – the degree of protection of the country (or region), its people, society, state, and economy, under normal conditions and in emergency situations, from the lack of quality, economically affordable energy resources, as well as from threats to the stability of fuel and energy supplies (Karapetyan, 2009).

 

In summary, energy security can be defined as a set of political, economic, legal, organisational, methodological, and other activities that provide high-quality and reliable power supply at economically reasonable prices, to satisfy the needs of the state in everyday life, as well as during emergency situations and war.

As we consider energy security using a complexity of measures, we can conclude that its integral core is the regulation of the system’s management processes: political, economic, and legal. Humans are therefore key links in the energy security system, obliging the state to regularly increase efficiency levels by training and retraining the personnel involved in the sector.     

 

 

The Conceptual Understanding of Global Energy Security

Within the framework of modern science, there are three main areas we study concerning the problem of energy security, both at global and national levels. The first one is the technical field which examines issues that are related purely to engineering in nature: the design and construction of power plants; fuel processing; studying landscapes for the construction of pipelines; etc. The second is the economic field, and focuses on the economic efficiency of energy projects; logistics; supply; analysis of tariffs; etc. The third is the political field, exploring the impact of energy markets on international relations, the role of energy in geopolitical processes, and things like pipeline wars. These three are seen to completely cover the entire range of energy security issues, and demonstrate its multi-level and interdisciplinary nature. However, there is a gap in the contemporary scientific knowledge of energy security, represented by its little-studied philosophical, social, ethical, and spiritual aspects (Kimmins, 2001; Dernbach and Brown, 2009).

International security is usually studied in the framework of philosophical concepts such as: neorealism (Waltz, 1979), which views the nature of international relations as one of perpetual chaos and international anarchy, forcing different states to increase their military power; and neoliberalism (Mundell, 1965), which reduces international relations to the free flow of the world market, or in other words, to globalisation. In addition, the concept of international security has traditionally been explored within theories of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 2005), which denies the existence of natural laws in economics and politics, and comparative-historical sociology (Weber, 1946), which aims to describe and interpret differences and similarities between historical eras.

Within the context of international security, analysis from numerous researchers confirms the prevalence of the neorealist concept in the study of energy security (Luft, Korin, 2009; Shaffer, 2009; Marín-Quemada et al, 2012). Within the framework of the neorealist tradition, a key role is given to the interests of nations seeking to maximise access to energy resources and to provide the most favourable conditions for the implementation of their energy resources in world markets. According to neorealism’s proponents, conflicts are inevitable between states in a competitive environment, and this leads to military build-up. It is no coincidence that one of the most important investigations carried out within this framework is the military aspects of energy security. This seems quite logical in view of the indisputable influence of energy resource struggles on today’s global escalation of violence; this is itself caused by the spreading policy of resource nationalism in countries with essential energy resources.

Neoliberalism requires a different approach to the study of energy security, considered within the overall context of international security. As noted above, neoliberalism’s basic principle is built on the creation and smooth operation of the global market, operating on the basis of mutually beneficial international cooperation. Certain patterns of interaction between states undergird this cooperation, and unlike neorealist perspectives, particular importance is attached to the activity of international organisations. From the neoliberal perspective, the presence of a free global market involving the trade of energy resources minimises the possibility of the so-called ‘energy weapon’– the application of an embargo on the supply of energy resources, preventing market actors from fully controlling the pricing mechanism – being used. Consequently, the world energy market creates the conditions for peaceful and mutually advantageous cooperation among both energy-exporting and energy-importing states.

According to neoliberal theory, we can conclude that the world energy market, among other sectors of the global economy, is the guarantor of security and stability in contemporary international relations. In essence, this is the main difference between the neoliberal and the neorealist approaches.

However, an opposing position should also be taken into account, which points out that in spite of the engagement of numerous international institutions, international politics today witnesses applications of double standards, the ​​increasing reality of a bipolar world, and several other factors that show the implementation of neoliberal values ​​to be of limited value. As a stabilising factor in the global political system, the role of energy – as well as other sectors of the world economy – is thereby seen with secondary importance. This is consistent with the structural power theory of Susan Strange, who considers energy a secondary structure, affected by the military and financial markets (Strange, 2004).

As one of the most popular theories used today in studies of problems in international relations and world politics, constructivism essentially involves the nominating of ‘the world of ideas’ to the forefront of what one thinks gives definition to the material world. The ‘world of ideas’, which includes a variety of social values, as well as cultural and mental stereotypes, collective goals, and threats, affects the material world, modifying it and giving it new meanings. Moreover, according to constructivist theory, these ideas form or design global political and economic processes. Within constructivist frameworks, it is postulated that the entire system of international relations is a social construction determined by a certain set of social ideas. Politicians, national leaders, diplomats, and other key actors in international relations are carriers of social ideas typical of the social structure they are part of. Thus, a broad range of ideas, from national values ​​to collective fears, often plays a key role in decisions made by individual actors. International relations are therefore a kind of competitive confrontation of different sets of ideas and values.

In this respect, constructivist theorists oppose neorealist theorists, who treat the nature of international relations primarily from the standpoint of national security. For neorealism, the whole system of international relations and world politics is nothing but chaos, causing states to build up their military capacities and use various types of weapons (including energy) to implement their short-term and long-term national priorities.

When considering application of constructivist methods to the study of energy security issues, it is important to appeal to one of the key concepts that have been formed within the constructivist framework. This is the securitization concept, which is one of the most relevant concepts used in assessments of security levels – including energy security – in both national and international contexts.

Developed by Barry Buzan and Ole Weaver of the Copenhagen School, the securitization concept postulates that security policy is formed as a substantiation of any phenomenon or threat that gives the actor the right to “take decisions to protect the public” (1998). For example, the government of the state securitizing a problem (i.e., presenting it in the context of national or public security), insists on a prompt solution to the problem. The main task here is not only the representation of the problem in the necessary context, but in persuading the general public and various civil institutions of the need to focus on it. It is quite natural that in an effective process of securitization, the actor has the right to require the necessary funding and other resources to solve the problem. It may seem that securitization is essentially a tool for the political and financial elite to solve corporate problems. This statement, though erroneous, cannot be completely discounted due to the increasing dominance of corporate interests over national populations worldwide. That is why Barry Buzan warns against excessive securitization and Ole Weaver proposes introducing the concept of desecuritization,  i.e., the removal of the ‘securitized’ issues from the agenda of national or international security, thus giving some conceptual integrity to the concept of securitization (Weaver, 1995). In this sense, the end of the Cold War was an act of desecuritization. The Cold War was an example of how something was constructed as a threat, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, ceased to be so. Thus, securitization can work in both directions – to declare something as a threat, and then to deactualise it.

The classic names associated with the concept of securitization – Barry Buzan, Ole Weaver, and Jaap de Wilde – pick out five key sectors that are regularly exposed to securitization: the military sector; the environment; the economy; the social sector; and politics (Buzan, Weaver, de Wild, 1998). At the same time, these sectors are synthesised, often influencing each other. However, both the concept of securitization and the theory of constructivism ignore one of the most important, and at the same time, detrimental problems – the role of human beings in the process of constructing the vectors of the security establishment, including energy security. The spiritual problems of energy security should be considered precisely in this context and we will concentrate on them separately.

Currently, there is an attempt to erase the boundary between neorealism and neoliberalism, arguing that the two theories are essentially expressing the same views, united under the common title ‘realistic liberalism’. One of the most influential researchers to combine elements of neorealism and neoliberalism in the study of global energy security is Daniel Yergin, who has identified ten principles of energy security that are crucial for all actors in world energy processes, and at the same time, typical for the supporters of neorealism and neoliberalism:

 

  • diversification;
  • margin of safety;
  • high-quality and timely information;
  • cooperation among supplier and consumer countries;
  • expansion of the International Energy Agency by incorporating China and India;
  • stability of infrastructure and supply chain;
  • stable, functioning markets;
  • energy efficiency;
  • ensuring the flow of investments;
  • development of new technologies (Yergin, 2007).

 

Separate elements from a parallel application of neorealist and neoliberal approaches can be found in papers by John. A. Stanislaw (2009), A. Mane-Estrada (2008), E. Korinand G. Luft (2009), S. Zhiznin (1999), and others.

In general, such a discrepancy between analyses of basic energy security problems results from ambiguities and contradictions across a variety of interpretations, and also from the absence of a clear demarcation between the technical, economic, and political aspects of energy security. The ambiguity of interpretations can also be explained by the following circumstances: firstly, the concept of energy security is used in both national and global contexts; secondly, the definition of energy security given with respect to a specific state contains a significant degree of subjectivity, reflecting the peculiarities of differing levels of national energy potential; and thirdly, in some cases energy is treated solely in terms of an industry that functions as the key problem of the whole national security system, directly affecting political, geopolitical, and geo-economic processes (Borovskiy, 2008).

 

On the Way to Global Energy Security

Over the past few years, leading world powers have repeatedly raised the issue of global energy security and many international protocols and agreements have been signed. Despite the fact these documents are rarely used in practice, they create a basis for the further development of a healthy global energy system.

At the Group of Eight (G8) summit held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2006, global energy security became a key agenda point for the first time. As a result, heads of the state signed an agreement in which a number of important problems were dealt with. In particular, the leaders made a joint statement on the principles of global energy security (Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006).

Referring to the common interests of producer and consumer countries in the promotion of global energy security, G8 leaders expressed their commitment to the following objectives and principles:

 

  • Strong global economic growth, effective market access and investment in all stages of the energy chain;
  • Open, transparent, efficient, and competitive markets for energy production, supply, use, and services in the fields of transportation and transition of energy resources, playing a key role in ensuring global energy security;
  • Creation of transparent, equitable, stable, and effective legal frameworks and management systems, including the obligation to uphold contracts, in order to generate sufficient, sustainable international investment in the production, processing, and distribution of energy;
  • Promotion of dialogues and exchanges between all stakeholders towards interdependence in the energy sector, and security of supply and demand;
  • Diversification of energy supply and demand, energy sources, geographical and sectoral markets, transportation routes, and energy transportation assets;
  • Promotion of measures to improve energy efficiency and conservation through initiatives implemented at national and international levels;
  • Environmental responsibility in the development and use of energy, and deployment and transfer of clean energy technologies which help to tackle climate change;
  • Provision of transparency and good governance in the energy sector in order to combat corruption;
  • Joint actions to eliminate the consequences of emergency situations in the energy sector, including coordinated planning strategic stocks;
  • Provision of critical energy infrastructure safety;
  • Addressing the energy problems of the poorest populations in developing countries.

 

On the basis of these principles, objectives, and approaches, G8 leaders pledged to implement a common strategy in the field of global energy security, stating in their agreement, “We invite other states, relevant international organizations and other stakeholders to join us in these efforts” (Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006).

The principles and approaches presented in the agreement are fundamental to the formation of global energy security. However, their practical application requires a major foundation consisting of the lack of political and geopolitical risk. It is known that at the time of signing the joint agreement, there were significant differences on a number of energy issues between G8 members. This can also be said about the confrontation between Russia and the EU, which continues to the present day and is one of the main obstacles to achieving global energy security. I will discuss some aspects of this confrontation separately.

“For the successful implementation of global energy security, the policy of any state should be focused on a rapid response to ‘external shocks’ and use instruments of coordination within the global community” (Mironov, 2003). Today, it is obvious that the international community is still far from achieving global energy security, because security in this area is a product of cooperation between states and corporations.

Despite the differing interests of states, they are all interested in maintaining stability in the main energy resource markets, and in the absence of major shocks related to energy supply disruptions and significant jumps in prices. However, states usually try to achieve energy security either unilaterally or in groups, and often ignore the fact of global interdependence. Practice shows that unilateral actions by states acting to ensure their energy security often lead to cross-border transmission of economic shocks, various other kinds of external shocks, and ultimately, to interstate military and political conflicts. In other words, one-sided national energy security is not possible.

Therefore, one important task for the international community is to ensure global energy security (GES). The following are principles for ensuring GES:

 

  • Harmonisation of energy policy between countries providing the general principles for the development and regulation of global energy, on the basis of long-term planning and consistent energy balances, and regulatory and legal requirements to ensure global energy security and environmental security;
  • Development of energy dialogue and energy diplomacy for GES;
  • Promotion of measures for the transition to an energy-saving lifestyle and the energy efficiency of the economy, and the development of a new energy future based on environmental security;
  • Joint efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to eliminate emergency situations in the energy sector;
  • Collective responsibility of world powers for ensuring the sustainable access of the world’s population to essential facilities and energy sources;
  • Support from international organisations with respect to attracting investments to the energy sector, developing innovative energy, and coordinating the corporate activities of multinational energy companies.

 

Тhe Centre for Sustainable Energy Development’s group of experts concludes:

  • GES can be ensured only by joint efforts by leading countries, and by the entire international community taking into account compromises of national, inter-regional, and international interests; i.e., security through cooperation;
  • Recognising that at least up to the middle of the twenty-first century, fossil fuel-based energy resources will be in a dominant position within the energy supply system, the objectives of business – supported by governments of all countries – are the preservation and reproduction of the planet’s energy potential and its effective use in the interests of every country;
  • The global nature of world energy, under conditions of sharp unevenness in the geographical allocation of fuel production and processing, determines the need to establish and maintain the security of transcontinental energy transport communications. An important element of this is to create a sustainable system of strategic reserves and stocks of energy resources, as well as asystem of management and reactive emergency response (Centre for Sustainable Energy Development, 2006).

Thus, the main goal of global energy security is to create a single energy space in line with principles of socially acceptable energy, with three basic criteria: high levels of energy, socio-economic efficiency, and ecological efficiency. In this report, I will also identify the need to establish a fourth criterion, relating to the minimisation of spiritual risks and the threats of energy consumption. In turn, the philosophy of a unified energy space is built on the thesis that it is practically impossible to ensure the energy security of a single state in today’s world. Alongside this, it is obvious that the increasing disintegration of energy communication is a key factor hindering the economic development of individual states. Consequently, the goal of a single energy space should necessitate the development of mutually agreed policy, and collective interaction that creates the conditions for effective energy consumption, and accounts for national interests, and especially for regional geopolitical architecture, as well as ensuring national energy security. According to Lee Hamilton, the President of the Woodrow Wilson International Scientific Centre, energy security is the second most important component of state policy in the sphere of security, after national defence. Moreover, every state in the world needs to develop energy security (Kalicki, Goldwyn, 2005).

 

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