Publication Detail

The Role of the U.S. in the Geopolitics of Climate Policy and Stranded Oil Reserves

UCD-ITS-RP-16-29

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Jaffe, Amy Myers (2016) The Role of the U.S. in the Geopolitics of Climate Policy and Stranded Oil Reserves. Nature Energy 1 (Article 16158)

Computer-assisted technological innovation and breakthroughs in drilling are revolutionizing the energy landscape, creating greater uncertainty about the future trends for oil use. These new dynamics are prompting major oil producers to reconsider the commercial value of their assets, potentially changing the long-term outlook for oil prices. A shift in investment and production strategy by major oil-producing countries and large multinational companies to pre-empt the risk of stranded assets would have significant implications on energy markets. This Perspective surveys the competitive forces at play that are able to shift the dynamics of the global oil market and discusses their implications for US climate and energy policy. A declining long-term oil price might imply that energy and climate scientists and policymakers should revisit the road map of the optimum policies to promote the transition to lower carbon energy and to defend technology gains already achieved.