European Energy Security: Facing a Future of Increasing Dependency? (WHP 73)
Whitehall Paper, 11 Dec 2009
By Peter Truscott
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Whether policy-makers in the European Union like it or not, the EU will become increasingly dependent for the foreseeable future on fossil fuels produced beyond its frontiers, often in politically unstable parts of the world. Investment in future energy production, both in hydrocarbons and nonhydrocarbons, will be vital to avoid an energy supply crunch as the world recovers from the current global recession.
This paper argues that energy diplomacy should and must rise to the top of the political agenda to defuse potential conflicts and ensure reliable and uninterrupted supply. In a dangerous world, both the critical energy infrastructure and critical national infrastructure are Europe’s soft underbelly. EU and NATO militaries need to plan to reduce their hydrocarbon dependence now. In that way they will ensure that they do not become hostage to supply disruptions, whilst at the same time reducing their carbon footprint and helping to preserve the environment.
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