ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Political Economy of (De)Carbonisation

There is a high correlation between wealth and greenhouse gas emissions. Changing geopolitics over clean energy is replacing fossil fuel-based global power structures. Climate change is the new colonialism. Fossil fuels remain the most strategic commodity and are critical to national and international politics.


The valuable suggestions of the reviewer of EPW are acknowledged with gratitude.

A new geological epoch—the Anthropocene—started with the Industrial Revolution circa 1750 (IPCC 2014). People’s pressure on earth has grown exponentially over the past 100 years. Humans have achieved incredible things, but at the same time, have taken the world to the brink. The dominant risk to our survival is ourselves. We have become accustomed to carbon dependency, akin to a potent addiction coursing through the economy’s bloodstream. Ours is the hydrocarbon economy. Fossil fuels command our economy and times. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most import­ant and enduring source of global warming.

Despite the evolution of a new global order in the post-Cold War period, fossil fuels remain the most strategic commodity and critical to national and international politics. Fossil fuels still are central to security, prosperity, and the very nature of civilisation. Hydrocarbon, the most potent energy source, witnessed the rise and development of capitalism and modern international business throughout its history. The age of fossil fuels embodies market development, national and global economies, and technological revolution. As the 21st century unfolds, it is clear that mastery will undoubtedly come as much from a computer chip as from alternative energy. Hydrocarbon-based production is central to capitalism. Climate change becomes endogenous to capitalism. Post-Cold War capitalism will impose new global realities upon us as well as the future generations of humanity, which can only be countered at a tremendous human cost.

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Updated On : 31st Aug, 2023
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