Category: Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Satellite Data Offers a Broad Array of Policy Insights 5/12/2022

Satellite Data Offers a Broad Array of Policy Insights

Payne Institute Communications Associate Chris Dunn and Director Morgan Bazilian summarize how satellite data is rapidly growing in importance for informing crucial policy decisions. Insights offered fall into one of three main categories: energy security and assessment, emissions and environment, and human and national security. May 12, 2022.

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition 4/22/2022

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Will Impact Africa’s Energy Transition

Katie Auth and Payne Institute Fellow Todd Moss write about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine will shift the geopolitics of decarbonization, with particularly stark implications for energy politics in Africa.  The energy sector impacts of this war will reverberate across every corner of the globe.  April 22, 2022.

Power Outage in Afghanistan as Seen by DNB 4/20/2022

Power Outage in Afghanistan as Seen by DNB

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Research Associate Tilottama Ghosh writes about how the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US Armed forces, which was completed on August 31st, 2021, can be viewed from ‘space.’ Areas which were lit before become dimmer or become completely dark because of the loss of electricity.  April 20, 2022.  

LIGHTS OF A COUNTRY UNDER TALIBAN CONTROL 4/11/2022

LIGHTS OF A COUNTRY UNDER TALIBAN CONTROL

Payne Institute Research Associate Fen-Chi Hsu, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Communications Associate Brooke Bowser write about what the satellite views of Afghan city lights tell us about the economic and political state of the country.  Changing light patterns are not new for Afghanistan, which has dealt with rolling power outages for decades due to issues with supply and conflict, but the departure of US troops, the Taliban’s dominance, and the country’s plunge into an economic crisis create new concerns about electricity blackouts.  April 11, 2022.

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change 3/16/2022

A breakdown of how much capital is actually going to fight climate change

Payne Institute Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the recent UN COP26 climate negotiations once again revealed how the richest nations in the world are not meeting their commitments to the developing world.  A vastly more important shortcoming of public climate finance is its continued failure to attract the private capital that increasingly appreciates the long-term imperative of climate action and that will be essential if the world is to spend the trillions necessary to fight climate change.  March 16, 2022.

Lebanon Energy Crisis: Time to Reform 3/7/2022

Lebanon Energy Crisis: Time to Reform

Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir, Communications Specialist Brooke Bowser, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the attention of the world’s energy sector is clearly focused on Russia and Ukraine, but the ongoing crisis in Lebanon warrants our collective attention.  The situation is horrifying. Lebanon is being battered by a confluence of crises engulfing national security, politics and government, integrity in public office, the economy and banking sector, social unrest, energy instability and environmental degradation. Each is feeding off the others to create a storm rooted in Lebanon’s failed economic, social, environmental policies.  March 7, 2022.  

A coal renaissance is not coming to Africa 12/13/2021

A coal renaissance is not coming to Africa

Jacob Kincer, Payne Institute Fellow Todd Moss, and Mark Thurber write about how as the US and much of Europe pursue aggressive plans to decarbonize, in part by replacing coal-fired power stations with cleaner sources, the global focus has shifted to coal in emerging economies, like Africa. Several studies have projected a boom in new coal power generation in Africa, more than 30 GW (GW) of new capacity operational by 2030. Such a scenario has been used to justify proposed prohibitions on all new fossil fuel projects, including gas for cooking, power, fertilizer, or industry. We examined two of the most influential studies projecting steep increases in African coal and we independently collected and analyzed government and media reports on each of the 22 potential projects listed in a widely-used public database. December 13, 2021.

Africa ‘Climate Infrastructure Trap’ in Energy and Transport Sectors 12/7/2021

Africa ‘Climate Infrastructure Trap’ in Energy and Transport Sectors

Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, and Nitin Jain write about how Africa is particularly vulnerable to these extreme impacts of climate change. It is crucial that African climate adaptation finances increase substantially and investments in infrastructure are sustainable and resilient. This requires a fundamental systemic transformation. December 7, 2021.

Oil policy that burns from both ends 12/3/2021

Oil policy that burns from both ends

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how the Biden administration’s fossil fuel strategy is sending mixed signals to environmentalists and the oil and gas industry, making no one happy.  December 3, 2021.

Phasing out coal plants worldwide won’t be easy. These four approaches could help 12/2/2021

Phasing out coal plants worldwide won’t be easy. These four approaches could help

Payne Institute Researcher Brad Handler, Katie Auth, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about how reducing coal use around the world is critical for decreasing air pollution and addressing climate change, yet global coal consumption continues to grow in some regions. At the recent U.N. climate negotiations, countries agreed to “phase down” coal use, but achieving these goals won’t be easy, or cheap — and that’s where innovative financing comes in. Our research suggests that getting the right financial structures in place can help countries bring the dirtiest forms of power offline faster and accelerate new clean energy deployment.  December 2, 2021.