Positive and Negative Security: A Consequentialist Approach to EU Gas Supply

  • Paulina Landry
Part of the Energy, Climate and the Environment book series (ECE)


The paper differentiates between positive and negative security models, introducing important concepts of negative and positive security from new security studies to the energy domain. Negative gas security is understood as the ability to restore required gas flows and, as such, to deliver freedom from their loss. It is negative only in the sense that it is the outcome of remedying a crisis situation where some threatening development is stopped and its negative consequences minimized so that the gas flows can be restored to pre-crisis levels. Positive gas security entails innovatively managing these flows such that freedom towards acquiring the required volume of gas is strengthened. By advancing an argument for the consequentialist nature of gas security and exploring the notion of the negative and positive security in EU gas policy, this chapter offers critical insights into EU energy policy and the EU gas supply situation. The author criticizes the EU policy’s prevailing focus on technical aspects of gas security (where gas security is perceived as resulting first and foremost from aggregated systemic technicalities in the EU gas system such as physical infrastructure, market rules, network codes, technical standards, etc.) and on developing a negative security model while not adequately considering the role the individual user plays in the gas system and how gas consumers can create positive gas security for Europe. Here, added value enables energy consumers to exercise their liberty and tailor their energy security through their smart energy choices. This power affords them more welfare (since producing goods and services with energy-efficient solutions requires less energy) and freedom (since ability to act and enact gas security is brought closer to the consumer who becomes an active player instead of being a mere passive recipient of gas supply).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulina Landry
    • 1
  1. 1.Lillehammer University CollegeLillehammerNorway

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