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Research Report

BRICS, Energy and the New World Order: A study by NUPI for ONS Summit 2012: The geopolitics of energy

Stein Sundstøl Eriksen
Sverre Lodgaard
Arne Melchior
Karl Rich
Elana Wilson Rowe
Ole Jacob Sending
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Pages: 39

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [ii]-[iii])
  2. (pp. 1-1)
  3. (pp. 2-5)
    Arne Melchior

    When a Goldman Sachs executive introduced the ‘BRIC’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China) acronym in 2001, it was an innovative move, since continued success could not be taken for granted for all of the countries: only China and India had sustained high growth in the 1990s. Time has shown that the bet was a safe one: the BRIC constellation has been a rising star. In 2010, the category expanded to BRICS with the inclusion of South Africa, thereby covering all the major developing continents. BRICS is still in the making as an institution, but it may be here to stay, with...

  4. (pp. 6-13)
    Karl M. Rich and Elana Wilson Rowe

    The economic rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is closely tied to the global politics of energy and their increased consumption of global energy. As these countries rapidly ‘catch up’ with the energy-intensive developed world, their combined role in international climate negotiations becomes critical, though each country individually faces multifaceted domestic energy issues and politics that shape the perceptions of the global climate debate.

    In this brief report, we take a closer look at the political and economic drivers that shape how the BRICS approach the problem of energy usage at home and international...

  5. (pp. 14-19)
    Arne Melchior

    The BRICS countries symbolize world change: A new pattern is emerging, with the old leaders – the USA and the major European powers – losing their importance and their grip. This process started 50 years ago; it accelerated in the 1990s, and even more after the turn of the century. This chapter examine the process of reallocation between the old and the new world, and the role of the BRICS. We examine economic growth across world regions and the relative decline of the West, and the emergence of a new pattern of trade within and across world regions.

    The chapter...

  6. (pp. 20-27)
    Sverre Lodgaard

    The BRICS countries challenge the privileged position of the OECD world in the management of global interdependence. Their immediate goal is gaining a greater say in the UN, the Bretton Woods institutions, the WTO and other significant organizations. New institutions to supplement and eventually supplant existing ones are also being discussed – openly at the BRICS Academic Forum (Samir 2012) and the subsequent summit meeting in Delhi on 29 March 2012 (the Delhi Declaration).

    In 2011, when all BRICS countries were members of the UN Security Council, the summit in Sanya (China) paid special attention to reform of the Council....

  7. (pp. 28-35)
    Stein Sundstøl Eriksen and Ole Jacob Sending

    Is China’s thirst for energy undermining efforts to curb corruption and promote good governance? Is the search for energy security producing a new ‘Scramble for Africa’, with unbridled competition between great powers, and a weakening of global governance mechanisms? Judging from analyses and comments from politicians, pundits and academics, this is indeed the case. On a trip to Nigeria as UK Foreign Minister in 2006, Jack Straw allegedly remarked to reporters, ‘Most of what China has been doing in Africa today is what we did in Africa 150 years ago.’⁹ As Klare and Volman (2006: 297) have argued, ‘The African...

  8. (pp. 36-36)