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Solving Europe's energy crisis with Norway's power
Solving Europe's energy crisis with Norway's power | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Solving Europe's energy crisis with Norway's power

Europe's energy security hinges on Norway and its transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. That has big geopolitical implications for Ukraine and NATO.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer delves into Europe's urgent quest for energy independence and the broader geopolitical shifts that could redefine the continent's future. With the specter of reduced US support for Ukraine after November’s election, Europe's resilience, particularly in energy security and military capabilities, takes center stage. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Støre joins Ian to discuss Norway's critical role in this transition, emphasizing the need for a swift move from oil and gas to renewables, a monumental task that Europe and Norway are determined to undertake in a remarkably short timeframe. “Norway will transition out of oil and gas. When we pass 2030, there will be declining production, and then we want to see renewables transition upwards,” Prime Minister Jonas Støre tells Ian.

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Annie Gugliotta

Graphic Truth: Global fossil fuel subsidies on the rise

In 2022, the International Monetary Fund crunched the numbers and found that governments were spending a whopping $7 trillion on fossil fuel subsidies. The colossal sum spent on these grants and tax incentives was largely driven by the war in Ukraine and its ripple effect on energy prices. But it wasn’t an outlier; the trend had already been on an upward trajectory as economies surged in the Global South, which suggests it is likely to continue unless there is a global transition to green energy.

To put these numbers into perspective, government backing for fossil fuels represents over 7% of the world's GDP, dwarfing other crucial budget items like education spending, which amounts to a mere 4.3% of the global GDP.

According to the IMF, curbing these subsidies could not only realign humanity with climate goals but also save 1.6 million lives annually and boost government coffers by $4.4 trillion.

Can the world run on green energy yet? Author Bjorn Lomborg argues that's very far off
Can the world run on green energy yet? Author Bjorn Lomborg argues that's very far off | GZERO World

Can the world run on green energy yet? Author Bjorn Lomborg argues that's very far off

Renewable energy technology like solar power, wind turbines, and battery storage have made exponential advances in the last decade. But is it enough to address the climate crisis?

On GZERO World, Danish author Bjorn Lomborg sits down with Ian Bremmer to discuss his controversial views on climate change and his belief that current climate technology is nowhere near where it needs to be to move to a net-zero world truly. He acknowledges the price of things like solar panels has gone down, but argues renewable tech is still being propped up by government subsidies.

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Subsidy game could hurt Canada-US relations
Subsidy game could hurt Canada-US relations | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Subsidy game could hurt Canada-US relations

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.

What is happening with US/Canada relations?

Well, I'm headed up to Toronto, Canada, just about a week after President Biden made his first trip to America's neighbor to the north, which is also the US' second largest trading partner. A very important, deeply ingrained relationship between these two North American economies. And a major source of tension right now between the US and Canada is over industrial policy. The US over the last several years has started to deeply subsidize infrastructure development, semiconductor manufacturing, and in the Inflation Reduction Act, green energy production, electric vehicles, and the components that go into this.

Now, the automobile industry is obviously a very major component of US/Canada trade and has been that way since the mid '90s when NAFTA was signed. The renegotiated USMCA has created a new set of playing rules for governing US/Canada trade, and there have been several long-standing disputes between the two countries that have not yet been worked out. And now with the introduction of the US' new subsidies, the Inflation Reduction Act is causing major concerns in Canada who are worried about losing green energy investments to the United States where there are tax preferences, loan programs, and other direct form of subsidies in order to get that manufacturing into the US.

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A view of solar panels at the green hydrogen proof-of-concept site in Vredendal, Western Cape, South Africa, in November 2022.


How to recharge Africa’s electrification dreams

Africa’s dreams of providing universal access to electricity by 2030 are in jeopardy thanks largely to a change in tune from China. The pandemic’s impact on the Chinese economy, years of debt-sustainability concerns, and plenty of bad press have zapped China’s ability and willingness to fund African power projects.

How did Africa come to rely on China? Over the past decade, some African leaders argued that conventional lenders and Western countries were not dependable partners. They urged countries to look instead to China to fill funding gaps to power the continent’s energy infrastructure goals.

As a result, China’s contribution to Africa’s power sector has been enormous: The International Energy Agency estimates that the amount of generation capacity from China’s 2010-2020 contracts in the region was around 17 gigawatts – projects mostly financed with Chinese loans and, to a lesser extent, equity, grants, and blended finance.

But today, Chinese investment in African power projects is declining sharply, leaving governments exposed to a potential shortfall in energy funding over the coming decade.

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