Security from a New Perspective

Article excerpt

The reports on reduced gas exports from Russia caused by freezing temperatures and Russia's increased own demand for energy exemplified Europe's dependence on Russian gas right at the start of the Munich Security Conference. Is this the chorus line matching the second panel on "Energy, Resources, and the Environment: New Security Parameters?"

The news on reduced deliveries sounds somewhat familiar and the unresolved Russia-Ukraine gas disputes spring to mind. Against this background, it comes as no surprise that President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych calls for fair play at the Munich Security Conference and deems trilateral talks between suppliers, transit countries and consumers necessary. To ensure energy security, President Yanukovych pursues a "consolidated approach" with regard to the energy community with the European Union.

Europe's intention to diversify gas supplies and obtain access to gas resources in the Caspian Basin motivates Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to talk optimistically about the Southern Gas Corridor. He is happy to see "a true partnership" with the EU developing. It might definitely sound good to European ears to hear that Azerbaijan cares about environmental issues. Aliyev promoted his country by saying that it no longer exploited its natural resources ruthlessly and at nature's expense like in past decades. Nowadays, environmental protection aspects were becoming increasingly important. Moreover, Azerbaijan was allocating massive investments for renewable energies such as water power and solar energy despite possessing own fossil natural resources. In the discussion on energy security, EU Commissioner for Energy Gnther Oettinger's statement focused on the geopolitical aspects. The EU Commissioner spots three major trends marking the present situation: a globalized competition for energy sources, the emergence of a global energy market and a stronger correlation of energy and sustainability. …