Title: Energy as a source of potential conflicts

Authors: Ugo Farinelli, Paolo Valant

Addresses: ENEA, Rome, Italy. ' ENEA, Rome, Italy

Abstract: Energy has increasingly become an international issue. Until the 1950s, most energy sources were exploited and used domestically. With the post-war industrial boom, which has been based on the extensive use of oil, international trade has become an essential part of the energy supply policy of most countries. The consequences of energy production and use are also becoming a global phenomena. Air pollution and acid rain know no frontiers; and the Chernobyl accident has shown that nuclear power production cannot be considered at the national level only. The threats to the world|s climate that derive from the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can only be dealt with globally. Even deforestation and desertification have effects that greatly extend beyond the local level. Since energy is a necessary component of economic welfare, development and in some cases survival, all these inter-relationships are potential causes of tensions and conflicts. The situation can be partially improved if at least major countries or groups of countries adopt energy security measures such as: increased reliance on domestic resources, diversification of energy sources and of areas of procurement, strategic stockage, etc. However, it will be necessary to change some rules of the international energy trade. For instance, long-term agreements on oil prices between producers and consumers could be of mutual interest and could prevent international tension.

Keywords: coal; fuel prices; fuel supply; international conflict; international trade; natural gas; nuclear power; oil crises; nuclear energy; energy security; energy sources; international tension; energy supply.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGEI.1990.063705

International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 1990 Vol.2 No.1, pp.31-40

Published online: 19 Jul 2014 *

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