The Crisis of the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Impact on Energy Markets

By Richard Kent

GCC statesThe economic blockade of Qatar by its neighbouring Gulf states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the 5 June, has caused rifts and uncertainty in global energy markets, and conveys a rebalancing of power and emergence of strategic foreign and energy policies within the wider MENA region. The blockade halted all land, air, and sea traffic, and GCC states have expelled all Qatari diplomats and citizens, causing a diplomatic crisis.

Read the full article in our newsletter no.66.

Brazil’s ethanol experience and the way forward

By Thomas Fröhlich

Brazil is the world leader in the use of biofuels in transport, and can look back at a successful history of introducing and expanding the use of ethanol in particular as an alternative transport fuel to substitute petroleum imports.
After the introduction of the government’s “Pró-Álcool” programme in 1975, Brazil was able to transform its light vehicle fleet to be almost completely ethanol-fuelled by the late 1980s, thereby substituting about 7bn barrels of petrol imports.
Due to high sugar prices, a phase-out of government support and the opening of the economy in the 1990s, Brazilians increasingly opted to buy foreign cars that we
re petrol-fuelled, resulting in a decrease of ethanol-fuelled cars and thereby ethanol consumption.

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Decarbonisation in North America; an Empirical Analysis of the Economic Impact in Canada, Mexico, and the United States

By Pablo David Necoechea Porras

The world’s carbon emissions are beginning to be addressed to fulfil the
promise of the Paris climate change agreement. Keeping global temperature increase
to below 2°C will need global net greenhouse gas emissions to decrease dramatically. Nowadays, the world’s energy system is heavily based on fossil fuels: coal and oil account for about 30% each of total energy supply, and gas for another 20% or so. Low- or zero-
carbon energy sources together account for the remaining 20% . However, it is possible to take the carbon out of the world economy over the next years and do so with increased economic wealth in all countries. Decarbonisation has an economic value added.  Economies urge to decrease pollution and to be less materially intensive to have sustainable growth realizing that the low-carbon transition could generate economic growth.

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The ‘Petroleum’ of the 21st century: Water Security in the Face of Growing Population, Economies, and the Advance of Climate Change

By Benjamin Abbs
It is estimated by 2030 there will be a 40% shortfall in the global water supply. Clearly this presents a major resource supply challenge, but of equal significance is the ability of local water tensions to quickly mushroom to have national, regional, and global political  consequences.
While the quantity of fresh water in the world is not decreasing, population and economic growth is massively fuelling demand whilst global warming is increasingly affecting water distribution. In the past century, the world population has tripled, water use has increased six fold, and it is predicted that supplying a planet of 9 billion (population projection for 2050) would require at least 50% more water than we use today. Economic growth further increases the strain on water resources through pollution caused by industrial growth and improving living standards which encourage more water-demanding lifestyles and diets (the average hamburger takes 2400 litres of water to produce).