23 Jul 2013
The Fragmented Governance of the Global Energy Economy: A Legal-Institutional Analysis
by Leal-Arcas, R. and Filis, A.
The objective of this paper is to promote global energy security by evaluating the existing patchwork of institutions and processes linked to the governance of the global energy economy. What we mean by global energy security is the satisfaction of humankind’s energy needs to maintain lifestyle levels in the developed world and to promote development and improve the quality of life across the world, including least-developed and developing countries.
The paper focuses on the global energy economy, its fragmented governance and its implications for global energy security. Inter-State governance over the global energy economy is neither global nor cohesive. Rather, the various aspects pertinent to it – amongst others, economic development, climate change, trade, investment protection, finance and human security – are managed in a disparate and disjointed manner. What is more, the absence of a global energy security regime to address global – i.e., humankind’s collective – energy needs justifies the need to investigate the implications of the current state of play for global energy security.
To do so, the paper will examine all relevant institutions and processes linked to the global energy economy in order to assess their individual and combined implications for global energy security. This paper therefore aims to promote an understanding of, and an attitude towards, the global energy economy that acknowledges that it is a composite affair with a high degree of interplay between its constituent parts, and that there are systemic reasons why the current state of play fails to address global energy security needs.
The aim of the paper is to perform an extensive mapping-out and analysis of the institutions and processes linked to the governance of the global energy economy, and of those purportedly concerned with global energy security, in order to answer the following three questions:
1. How does the current governance system of the global energy economy affect global energy security?
2. What challenges does the current global energy governance system pose to global energy security?
3. Which models of global energy governance should be applied to promote and improve global energy governance generally and global energy security in particular?