'Because fossil fuels (and military hardware) are Russia's only exports of note, some observers have speculated that Russia is making a play for Ukraine now because, with the anticipated decline of fossil fuels, it will not have the resources to do so in the future. This piece, from a pair experts on energy politics, gives several reasons why it's a mistake to view Russia -- or any fossil fuel autocracy -- as a dying petrostate.
"First, this period [the next 10 to 20 years] will be marked by significant price volatility, which will give a very limited number of producers with the ability to supply more oil or gas in short order extra geopolitical influence. ...The clean energy transition risks bringing with it more price volatility because of mismatches between supply and demand caused by insufficient energy investments. ... Global investment in oil and gas is now at record lows as a result of uncertainty about the outlook for demand in a world more serious about climate and the terrible financial performance of the oil sector over the past decade. This low level of oil and gas investment would be welcome if it were because demand was falling or investment in clean energy was rising at a rate to offset the fall in investment. But oil and gas use are both rising and projected to continue doing so for years. ... Second, as oil and natural gas production shifts away from large, Western, publicly held oil and gas companies, oil companies owned by the countries in which vast resources are found will be able to flex their muscles more. ... Third, even in a net-zero global economy, substantial amounts of oil and gas will still be required in the energy mix. ... From France’s 'yellow vest' protests to Kazakhstan’s recent unrest over fuel price hikes, it is increasingly clear that if climate ambition comes into tension with energy reliability or affordability or the security of energy supplies, climate ambition will lose. As energy prices soar, preparing for crises in which state-controlled energy suppliers are able to exert outsize geopolitical and economic clout must be a priority for Western leaders."
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