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The prevailing trend was that oil and gas were seen primarily as a matter of market mechanisms and competition rules, even if they were related to politics and geopolitics. The WTO continued to treat hydrocarbons as a commodity like any other, ignoring both their commons nature and their impact on the environment and climate. The conflict in Ukraine triggered an upheaval. Within months, Europe was facing serious energy shortages. In a matter of months, the rehabilitation of coal and nuclear power reversed the results of years of struggles, negotiations, and compromises. In July 2022, the European Parliament gave natural gas and nuclear power the “green energy” label.

This Extractivism Policy Brief 03/2023 deconstructs the concept of petropolitics. The Extractivism Policy Brief 03/2023 shows the origin of the term, its different uses and meanings, and the different definitions in countries of the Global South as well as the Global North.

Download the Extractivism Policy Brief 03/2023 (ENGLISH)

Download the Extractivism Policy Brief 03/2023 (FRENCH)


Author: Dr. Fatia Talahite (Fellow at