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Insight: Oil, Energy and Mining in International Politics

Resource extraction continues to be a major source of revenue for developing countries and wealthier nations alike. But the windfalls don’t come without risks. Meanwhile, the environmental impact of fossil fuels is driving the development of renewable energy sources. But the transition is slow to develop.

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Insight: Oil, Energy and Mining in International Politics

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16 stories in this Storyboard
    Algeria Makes for a Risky Partner to Help Solve Europe’s Energy Crisis

    Algeria Makes for a Risky Partner to Help Solve Europe’s Energy Crisis

    Algeria has the potential to help fill some of the gaps left by Europe’s efforts to wean itself off Russian energy. But there are obstacles that need to be addressed before that potential can be realized.

    Oil and OPEC

    Though OPEC still retains significant influence, its power is waning. The growth of the United States as an oil-exporting country and the rise of renewable energy have chipped away at its control over the energy market, and the coronavirus pandemic flattened demand and clouded the oil sector’s already uncertain future.

    The Resource Curse

    Resource extraction can go from a blessing to a curse when it fuels corruption or entrenches an elite, robbing citizens of the financial benefits while causing environmental damage.

    Illegal and Informal Mining

    In the Amazon, researchers describe illegal mining for gold as an “epidemic,” encroaching on indigenous communities and destroying vast swathes of the rainforest. The efforts are often funded by organized crime or major industries, who recruit local workers but do not offer them the training or protection formal mining industries do.

    The Human and Environmental Costs

    The wealth produced by the extractive industries comes at great cost, both to local communities and the environment. Despite initiatives to boost transparency, involve affected communities in planning and minimize environmental impact, mining projects continue to drive social conflict and cause serious injustices.

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