Our work on foreign energy policy explores some of the intellectual, philosophical and historical underpinnings of contemporary ‘energy security’ discourse – a deliberate use of language designed to foster anxiety about energy supplies and engender resource wars. We aim to evaluate the real-world impacts of this seemingly innocuous view of energy policy and unpack some of its core premises. The hope is that by better understanding one of the principal motive drivers behind modern foreign energy policy today, it will open up possibilities for a wider and more substantive debate. A debate that is not only preoccupied with the future of energy policy, but one that also casts a critical eye on the often less scrutinized role of the foreign policy community, state and military institutions, and corporate actors.
Our work to date has focused on the attempts by Western governments to control Iraq’s oil, the UK government’s enduring support for British oil giants BP and Shell as well as individual mega-projects like the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. While we continue to work on these areas, we are also currently focusing on the drive for so-called ‘frontier’ oil in places such as the Arctic, the Falklands, and deepwater offshore drilling in the UK and abroad.
We will continue our work challenging the role of the military in providing direct support to the British oil industry both through the MoD as well as NATO. We will continue our long-standing work to support communities impacted by the oil and gas industry, with a particular focus on Africa and the Middle East. We will continue our co-operation with other leading organisations working to build a strong alliance of groups working in Europe to better monitor the oil and gas industry and to hold it to account vis-a-vis the EU institutions and Member States. Ultimately, we aim to catalyze a shift in energy policy towards more sustainable and democratic alternatives.