Category: Energy Security & Resilience

The US is worried about its critical minerals supply chains – essential for electric vehicles, wind power and the nation’s defense 4/6/2021

The US is worried about its critical minerals supply chains – essential for electric vehicles, wind power and the nation’s defense

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how when U.S. companies build military weapons systems, electric vehicle batteries, satellites and wind turbines, they rely heavily on a few dozen “critical minerals” – many of which are mined and refined almost entirely by other countries. The level of dependence on imports worries the U.S. government.  April 6, 2021.

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security 3/31/2021

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Rod Eggert and Director Morgan Bazilian contribute to this article about obtaining critical minerals necessary to break the U.S. dependence on foreign production. The U.S. Defense department will help facilitate the building of facilities to process rare earths, part of an effort to secure supply independent from China.  March 31, 2021.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Energy Market Disruptions and Resilience 3/30/2021

The Covid-19 Pandemic: Energy Market Disruptions and Resilience

Payne Institute Fellow Alex Gilbert and Director Morgan Bazilian write about the direct risks and indirect effects from the COVID-19 pandemic that have impacted the operations and resilience of global energy markets.  This article considers several aspects of the impacts and responses of these markets as well as energy sector resilience.  March 30, 2021.

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy 3/19/2021

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to a low-carbon environment is rapidly accelerating and with it the potential for severe environmental and social degradation. The extraction and processing of key materials have already begun to affect developing economies, and policy changes are essential to ensuring a just transition.  March 19, 2021.

Climate Change Must Be Tackled as a Global Security Risk 3/10/2021

Climate Change Must Be Tackled as a Global Security Risk

Payne Institute Fellow Joshua Busby, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Florian Krampe write about how when the United Nations put out emergency appeals for modest amounts of money to help Syria with the drought that preceded its civil war, they were dramatically underfunded—member states only provided a quarter of the amount requested in 2008, and a third in 2009. The United States did not contribute.  We live in an age of “actorless threats”—where challenges to peace and security come not only from agents intentionally trying to do us harm, but also from climate change and pandemics whose impacts are no less severe.  March 10, 2021.

The US needs partners to tackle the security risks of climate change 3/4/2021

The US needs partners to tackle the security risks of climate change

Payne Institute Fellow Joshua Busby, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Florian Krampe write about how climate change poses escalating risks to stability and security, with potentially far-reaching consequences.  The Biden administration’s presidency of the UN Security Council in March is a historic opportunity to raise the profile of climate security concerns, but the US cannot address the security risks of climate change alone.  March 4, 2021.

Biden called climate change an ‘existential threat.’ Can the U.N. Security Council help? 3/2/2021

Biden called climate change an ‘existential threat.’ Can the U.N. Security Council help?

Payne Institute Fellow Joshua Busby, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Florian Krampe write about how for the month of March, newly confirmed U.S. ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield will serve as the rotating president of the U.N. Security Council, where climate change has become an increasingly discussed topic. President Biden has called climate change an “existential threat” and emphasized its importance by appointing John F. Kerry as a special presidential envoy with a seat on the White House National Security Council. Biden has already issued executive orders directing the country’s intelligence agencies to assess related risks and directing other parts of government to examine the links between climate change and migration.  March 2, 2021. 

Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace 3/1/2021

PART II: Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace

Payne Institute Fellow Griffin Thompson and Director Morgan Bazilian write the second part, of a two part series, about the Palestinian Authority’s efforts towards greater autonomy, prosperity, and peace that can be supported through a new perspective on how energy systems can affect and contribute to broader national and regional political and economic goals. No longer can we afford to ignore the potential for political development that is intrinsic to the processes of economic development. March 1, 2021.

Actorless Threats 2/26/2021

Actorless Threats

Payne Institute Fellow Andreas Goldthau, Franz Haniel Professor at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, and Research Group Leader at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies; and Kirsten Westphal, a Senior Analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about our age of the “actorless threats”. As Bazilian and Hendrix argued in a recent essay, “Mitigating or adapting to slow-onset, actorless threats like climate change…requires a reimagining of our national security priorities and architecture.” Climate change gives rise to cascading risks of habitat destruction, infectious disease outbreaks or biodiversity loss. These threats have already started to cause loss of life at significant scales. They have added friction to various aspects of geopolitics and the relationship between states and people.  February 26, 20201.

Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace 2/22/2021

PART I: Energy Infrastructure and the Epistemological Pillars of Peace

Payne Institute Fellow Griffin Thompson and Director Morgan Bazilian write a two part series about policies for energy service delivery that have for too long been governed by a restrictive sense of the energy system—one that isolates energy from the broader socio-political and diplomatic environments in which they evolve. The energy needs of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and their quest for cleaner, more resilient energy systems offer an opportunity to redefine the way we think about energy systems. Solutions, in turn, help highlight the multiple domestic and foreign policy benefits of a low carbon energy system. February 22,2021.