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Can New Energy Supplies Bring Peace? 11 mars 2014

Posted by Acturca in Energy / Energie, Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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Policy Brief (German Marshall Fund of the United States) March 11, 2014
Mediterranean Policy Program ~ Eastern Mediterranean Energy Project

Brenda Shaffer *

The discovery of significant reserves of natural gas offshore Israel in 2009 and 2010 and rather smaller volumes of natural gas offshore Cyprus in 2011 has sparked interest in their potential to contribute to regional cooperation and peace. The switch to natural gas can reduce pollution and carbon emissions, improve public health, lower electricity prices, and provide a stable and secure source of energy for power generation and desalinated water production in the region. However, the probability that these new natural gas resources may serve as a lever for conflict resolution or produce far-reaching geopolitical effects is rather low because the volumes of the reserves is relatively low, the potential economic benefits are insufficient to overcome deep-rooted political conflicts, and there is no precedent from other parts of the world of energy trade functioning as an incentive for peace between states in conflict.

* Professor Brenda Shaffer is a specialist on energy and foreign policy, energy security polices, the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, ethnic politics in Iran, Caspian energy and Eastern Mediterranean energy issues. She currently is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES).

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