January 26, 2023

Analysis

Don’t Say “Scramble for Africa”

Debt and diplomacy on the African continent

Debt, diplomacy, and the risks of a new Cold War.

January 25, 2023

Analysis

Militarized Adaptation

War, energy, and NATO’s new climate framework

This essay first appeared in GREEN, a journal from Groupe d’études géopolitiques. When NATO held its two-day summit in Madrid in June 2022, the Spanish government deployed ten thousand police officers to cordon off entire parts of the city, including…

January 14, 2023

Analysis

The Dollar and Climate

How US dollar hegemony fuels the climate crisis

The climate crisis offers a new angle from which to evaluate US dollar hegemony, since carbon emissions are tied to economic activity.

January 12, 2023

Analysis

Inflation and Energy

Can clean energy reduce inflationary pressures?

There has been little research into the inflationary implications of either climate change itself, or of responses to climate change. The majority of work on central banking and climate change is concerned with topics like firm-level or macroprudential regulation, collateral requirements, and asset-purchasing…

January 12, 2023

Interviews

Emergency Prices

An interview with Isabella Weber

In How China Escaped Shock Therapy (2021), Isabella Weber analyzes how China applied market reforms selectively, avoiding the broad agenda of liberalization advocated for in the West. Retaining oversight of prices for critical goods was key to this strategy.  Recently,…

December 22, 2022

Analysis

Facts on the Ground

Uncertainty and information in the global energy system

Assessing the crisis The energy system that underpins contemporary life is marked with blindspots. Take the fossil fuel sector. Facing simultaneous existential and geopolitical vulnerability—due to Russia invading Ukraine, advances in renewable energy, and the climate imperative—there is profound uncertainty…

December 15, 2022

Analysis

Europe’s “Leap Into the Future”

Do exceptional crisis-fighting policies signal the arrival of an interventionist Europe? 

In 2020, as demand for liquefied natural gas boomed in Asia, the shippable fuel was an afterthought in Europe. But when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 imperiled the continent’s energy supply, Europe panicked and spent the intervening year…

December 8, 2022

Analysis

Money and the Climate Crisis

COP27 and financing the green transition

The conclusion of COP27 reflected persisting uncertainties around coordinated global action towards decarbonization. Major agreements—including the establishment of a loss and damage fund—were reached, but the burden of mounting debt among global South countries continued to limit climate ambition. The…

December 2, 2022

Analysis

Development Bank Self-Sabotage

What’s stopping MDBs?

When the World Bank and IMF make radical noises, the US is typically the voice of restraint. So it came as a surprise to casual observers when, at October’s Annual Meetings, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged the Bank and other…

November 18, 2022

Analysis

Collective Action and Climate Finance

Can the COP move markets?

At UN climate summits, the items that appear on the agenda are usually those that advocates have fought hard to include. This year’s COP27 meeting in Egypt is no exception. Years of effort have culminated in getting loss and damage—finance…

November 9, 2022

Analysis

A New Non-Alignment

How developing countries are flouting Western Sanctions and playing the great powers off each other

This essay first appeared in GREEN, a journal from Groupe d’études géopolitiques. In March of this year, as Russia’s war in Ukraine intensified, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a trip to New Delhi to speak with his Indian counterpart…

November 3, 2022

Analysis

Domestic Politics & Planetary Change

Will a Lula victory be better for the climate than anything that happens at COP27?

Will a Lula victory be better for the climate than anything that happens at COP27?

October 20, 2022

Analysis

An Introduction

An introduction to The Polycrisis

What crisis? A year ago, one might be forgiven for thinking there was a moment of relative calm for wealthy countries: a year of vaccinations had made the pandemic less acute, inflation hadn’t yet provoked interest rate hikes, and labor…

October 13, 2022

Interviews

The Geopolitics of Stuff

A discussion on supply chains, commodities, and climate

The material economy is back. Economists and commentators in recent decades had heralded (or lamented) the arrival of an automated, redundant, frictionless system of international commerce. But over the past two years, multiple global crises have exposed the fragile physical…