For policymakers in Europe, North America, and Japan, maintaining energy security has three faces, argue the authors of this book. The first involves limiting the world economy’s vulnerability to disruption as dependence rises on oil imports from an unstable Persian Gulf region; the second involves more broadly assuring the reasonably smooth functioning of the international energy system over time—so that supply is provided for rising demand at reasonable prices; the third is the energy-related environmental challenge. The authors examine all three of these broad policy challenges and explain that policymakers must help steer the evolution of the international energy system over time to keep it within the constraints of sustainable development.
The book includes chapters on energy policies in North America, Europe, and Japan; energy investment in Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus; and the energy dynamics of rapidly industrializing countries, particularly in Asia. The two final chapters focus on nuclear energy and on the environmental challenge. The authors contend that the greatest contribution of nuclear power to energy security may be in the context of long- term sustainable development, if the growth of fossil fuel emissions needs to be significantly curtailed.