The Implications of Decreasing Fossil Fuels Demand for the Political Stability in the Middle East and North Africa (OILDOWN)
Grant number: TED2021-132846A-I00
Spain, and the rest of the European Union (EU) are currently amid an ecological transition. A key element of this transition is the transformation of our carbon-based energy system to a system based on renewable energy sources. This renewable energy transition will affect the natural resource needs of Spain and the rest of Europe. In a post-carbon economy, less fossil fuels imports, such as oil and natural gas, will be required. While this may be good news for the climate change goals of the EU and the Union's stated objective of achieving strategic autonomy, the repercussions for the exporting countries may be less positive. Less demand for fossil fuels can severely reduce the state revenues of fossil fuel rich countries. Existing research has connected lower oil- and gas prices to political instability and even violent conflicts in these countries.
OILDOWN's main research question is: How does the renewable energy transition affect the political stability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)? Based on the existing literature, the project starts with the main hypothesis that the Renewable Energy Transition can lead to more political instability in the MENA region. OILDOWN has three objects. First, to understand to what extent fossil fuel prices affect the political stability in resource-rich countries in the MENA countries. Second, to understand the mechanisms of how fossil fuel prices affect the political stability in resource-rich countries in the MENA countries. And third, and finally, to understand how current EU policies with respect to the MENA region can influence this relationship between decreasing demand for fossil fuels and political stability.