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The Global Energy Challenge: Environment, Development & Security

Programme overview

Energy remains one of the essential ingredients of modern life but how we produce, transport, market and use energy is politically contested – now more than ever. Indeed, the complex energy systems upon which we rely have already started to transition, partly for environmental and developmental reasons. Many policymakers, politicians and other organisations around the world are faced with the ‘Herculean’ task of engendering sustainable system change whilst, at the same time, ensuring secure and affordable access to energy. Others, in countries highly reliant on energy income, need to address the geo-economic implications of change.

This module explores the complex politics of energy, the relationship between policy and energy systems, and the many different perspectives on energy policy, its aims and instruments. It uses case studies (Russia and the EU) to demonstrate some of these complexities. The overall aim is to equip students with sufficient understanding, analytical tools, to critically evaluate energy policy and politics.

Module outcomes

  • Identify and discuss energy’s role in modern society, and how this relates to energy policy and politics;
  • Identify and analyse the key political perspectives on energy, and associated policy choices;
  • Apply political perspectives to analyse the main institutions and actors involved in energy policymaking;
  • Understand and evaluate resistance to, and drivers of, sustainable change;
  • Evaluate and critically assess energy policies, and how they relate to changes in energy systems.

Module Director:

Caroline Kuzemko