1/22/2015 The Wagner Review
By Maria Landa, Former Mexico Institute Intern
By 2030, global energy demand will increase by 41 percent due to rapid population and economic growth. Between 2012 and 2035, global population is projected to grow by 1.7 billion and real (or inflation-adjusted) income will more than double. In order to promote more energy efficient activities that curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow growth related to demand, both developed and emerging economies have placed environment and climate policies high on their political agendas. Yet, the latest scenario by the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook estimates that in 2040, oil and gas will remain the backbone of energy supply, making up nearly half of the total energy supply – with the remainder coming from coal and low-carbon fuels.
Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. will play critical roles in meeting the demand, tackling pressure on the global energy system, and contributing to energy security. With the abundance of U.S. natural gas and oil reserves, Canada’s oil sands and Mexico’s landmark constitutional energy reform (which opened its energy sector to private investment for the first time), North America is now considered an energy superpower. Leading think tanks and political leaders are urging the U.S. not only to strengthen ties with its North American neighbors, but also to make the trilateral relationship a priority in U.S. policy. The Council on Foreign Relations recently released a report led by former CIA Director David Petraeus and former World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, indicating that increased production and innovation in the energy sector coupled with China’s labor and shipping costs, boost North America’s global competitive advantage.