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Asia on the front line as energy security outranks climate change

The last year has provided a sharp and uncomfortable wake-up call

| East Asia
A seized South Korean-flagged tanker is escorted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats on the Persian Gulf on Jan. 4: the trade routes of crude oil supplies add an inevitable element of risk.   © Tasnim News Agency/AP

Nick Butler is a visiting professor at King's College London and a former senior executive at energy company BP.

For much of the last decade, plentiful supplies and falling prices have taken the issue of energy security off the agenda. The only topic that mattered, it seemed, was climate change and how rapidly countries and companies could commit to reducing carbon emissions to zero.

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