Can Energy Be Governed?

Can Energy Be Governed?, an article by Ann Florini (and also available on Project Syndicate as a podcast), looks at the poor attempts to govern energy (like the disaster at Copenhagen) and questions whether the world’s leaders will ever find ways to work collectively.

Listing our numerous global environmental problems, Florini states:

Only recently has it become clear that these seemingly disparate issues are a collective manifestation of a dysfunctional energy system. Globally and at the national level, energy is still conceptualized and managed in terms of energy sources, not in terms of the energy services those sources provide. Yet consumers of energy services have no particular interest in what sources of energy fuel their production, transportation, lighting, heating, air conditioning, or appliances. The existing paradigm serves to rigidify decision-making at a time when extraordinary flexibility and rapid change are essential.

…As is true of other global problems, much depends on the capacity and willingness of the most powerful national governments to find ways to act collectively. Yet these countries’ deeply flawed systems of national energy governance will make such collective action all the more challenging.

What do you think? Can international governments find a way to work together to save us from a global energy crisis? What has to happen before they do?

Read the article

Listen to the podcast