Energy Security, Water Resources and Economic Development in Central Asia
Paolo Davide FARAH & Piercarlo ROSSI, ENERGY: POLICY, LEGAL AND SOCIAL-ECONOMIC ISSUES UNDER THE DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY AND SECURITY, World Scientific Reference on Globalisation in Eurasia and the Pacific Rim, Imperial College Press (London, UK) & World Scientific Publishing, Nov. 2015.
26 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 30, 2015
Central Asia is one of the world’s most prominent regions for hydrocarbon resources. There are large territories still to be explored with high potential, though oil and gas have already been extracted for a hundred years. The region is open to foreign investments, but several issues arise from the past. The breakup of the Soviet Union has not automatically overcome infrastructural dependence. The Russian monopoly on pipelines is in opposition to the interests and the prospective investments of multinational energy companies. The programme for alternative pipelines is, therefore, a technological as well as a geopolitical matter, where international actors and local actors are involved. Central Asia is of strategic importance in terms of international security because of its history, coming from the influence of Russian power, and its geography, with borders with Afghanistan, Iran, China and the Russian Federation. Central Asia, with its large energy resources, seems to be an opportunity also for large energy consumers as evinced by the strong competition between the EU and China to secure supplies from the region. Moreover, the trade in energy commodities and technologies is crucial for the economy of Central Asia and its adapation to climate change.
Economic development and environmental protection are often disjoined in the policies of the region. One reason flows from the pressure on the Central Asian economies to maximize their economic advantages as energy exporters, if any societal progress is to be made. The Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme, which is a partnership of nine countries, places its priorities on trade policy and energy. The final goal is to achieve poverty reduction through accelerated economic growth.
Another factor is represented by the interests of global players in securing supplies against environmental considerations. Several regional organizations which have no significant focus on climate change are operating in the region, some strongly influenced by Russia, such as the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Eurasian Economic Union, and some by China, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). It is largely left to the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia to play a regional role in supporting environmental protection. The analysis will focus on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia.
Keywords: Water, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Energy Investments, Innovation, Globalization, Environment, Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Security, Central Asia, Economic Developmen, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
JEL Classification: Q40, Q42, Q43, Q48, K30, K32, K33, O13, Q20, Q32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation