, Volume 91, Number 4

Christian Downie
It is widely accepted that the rising power of the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—has the potential to re-shape the international system. However, little attention has been given to the BRICs’ role in a growing area of strategic importance: global energy governance. While global governance scholars now argue that the international energy architecture requires substantive reform to keep pace with the rapid transformations in global energy markets, largely driven by the BRICs, it is not clear what role these countries will play in future governance arrangements. Drawing on recent scholarship in global governance and international negotiations, interviews with G20 energy officials, and the observations of the author, a past delegate to G20 negotiations, this article examines whether the BRICs as a coalition have the capacity and willingness to drive substantive global energy governance reform. In doing so, it highlights the problems with the BRICs as a coalition on energy and considers the prospects for energy reform in light of China’s increasing engagement with energy governance ahead of it hosting the G20 Summit in 2016.

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