About the Program
Climate change poses grave risks to humanity in the 21st century; confronting it will require a massive transformation of the world’s energy systems. For now, fossil fuels still shape global geopolitics—swings in oil prices can fund proxy wars in the Middle East, spark maritime conflicts in the South China Sea, and undermine Russia’s government. Now that the United States has emerged as one of the world’s top oil and gas producers, thanks to the shale revolution, energy has emerged as a potent tool of foreign policy. But clean energy, like wind and solar power, is growing rapidly and could substantially displace fossil fuels in coming decades, altering traditional power dynamics between energy producers and consumers. And a race is on to commercialize breakthrough technologies and seize the ballooning global market for advanced energy products—China is out to an early lead, but the United States can recover by investing heavily in innovation. The program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations informs scientists, business leaders, policymakers, and the public about how to navigate this complex transition and what to expect from tomorrow’s energy landscape.