Circular Economy

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Bringing together policymakers, manufacturers, and consumers and assessing all sectors and interconnectivities to develop a life cycle approach to the circular economy and moving to a zero waste future (materials and energy)

Over 90% of the global economy continues to function with the unsustainable, linear “take-make-toss” process in relation to materials. Manufacturers rely on raw natural resources for processing and production, and the materials produced largely lack viability or end of use/life strategy. The circular economy looks to reduce waste in the life cycle of production and increase efficiency and effectiveness of recycling at the end of life for products.

Colorado School of Mines, the Payne Institute for Public Policy and our partners are working to address this issue and generate important research on the circular economy. Colorado School of Mines has expertise at every point of production. From the initial identification and extraction of natural resources, to processing, manufacturing, distribution, and product end-of-life reclamation. Through collaboration on campus with our geophysics, mining engineering, advanced manufacturing, mechanical engineering and chemistry departments and others. As well as off campus collaboration with NREL and various industry partners, the Payne Institute is connecting its breath of technical expertise with the world of public policy to bring the issue of the circular economy to the forefront.

NEWS

Sumit Agarwal named 2020 AVS Fellow 7/24/2020

Sumit Agarwal named 2020 AVS Fellow

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sumit Agarwal has been named a 2020 AWS Fellow.  Fellowship recognizes AVS members who have made sustained and outstanding technical contributions throughout their careers to research, engineering, technical advancement, academic education or technical management in the areas of basic science, technology development and commercialization of materials, interfaces and processing.  July 24, 2020.

Critical Minerals Don’t Burn Up – Why The Energy Security Playbook Needs A Re-Write 7/23/2020

CRITICAL MINERALS DON’T BURN UP – WHY THE ENERGY SECURITY PLAYBOOK NEEDS A RE-WRITE

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon and Director Morgan Bazilian explain why the issues surrounding critical mineral security differ from traditional energy security. The required response should avoid delaying the transition to a low carbon future, whilst using the time available to focus on building robust supply chains and creating economic opportunity both in the U.S. and internationally.  July 23, 2020.  

Global Gas Flaring Jumps to Levels Last Seen in 2009

GLOBAL GAS FLARING JUMPS TO LEVELS LAST SEEN IN 2009

The Payne Institute Earth Observation Group’s research on gas flaring is providing the data for the annual World Bank Global Gas Flaring Report.  Estimates from satellite data show global gas flaring increased, by 3%, to levels not seen in more than a decade, to 150 billion cubic meters (bcm), equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.  July 21, 2020.

Three Ways Policymakers in Emerging Economies can Encourage Low-Carbon Road Transport Decisions – that Aren’t Subsidies 7/20/2020

THREE WAYS POLICYMAKERS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES CAN ENCOURAGE LOW-CARBON ROAD TRANSPORT DECISIONS – THAT AREN’T SUBSIDIES

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell argues that policymakers must pay more attention to car buyers’ considerations of social status if they wish to address climate change. Given targets for halting global temperature rise to 1.5oC, the forces underlying the decisions of current and prospective car buyers in these nascent markets will be incredibly consequential. COVID-19 may present a rare opportunity for policymakers in emerging economies—where citizens now more clearly value the benefits of a future characterized by clean air and blue skies—to set themselves on a different path from that of the U.S. and other industrialized economies.  July 20, 2020.

PROPOSING A JUST TRANSITION RATING SYSTEM

PROPOSING A JUST TRANSITION RATING SYSTEM

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the energy transitions threaten to leave communities struggling with facility closures, job losses, and reductions in tax revenues. Many of these communities will seek to reinvigorate—or even reinvent—themselves through investment and programs to spur job and business creation. Although some communities may have “rainy day” funds available for this investment (although legislatures have to be persuaded to use such funds for this purpose), many do not. As such, some municipalities (or other local government formations) will likely have to turn to public debt markets. July 16, 2020.

PODCAST: ENERGY THINKS WITH TISHA SCHULLER 6/11/2020

PODCAST: ENERGY THINKS WITH TISHA SCHULLER

Payne Institute Advisory Board Member Tisha Schuller has a new podcast titled Energy Thinks, where she has conversations with top thought leaders in the energy space focusing on sustainability, ESG and future proofing against social risk.  June 11, 2020.

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE BATTERIES BETTER TOO? 6/9/2020

SO, YOU WANT TO MAKE BATTERIES BETTER TOO?

Payne Institute Fellow Emily Hersh, Alex Grant, and Chris Berry write a framework for developing lithium-ion battery supply chain industrial strategy.  The 2020s will see a boom in demand for lithium, manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, and electric vehicle deployment on a massive scale as a part of our energy transition away from fossil fuels. Politicians around the world are wondering how their jurisdictions can participate in the lithium ion battery supply chain. Simultaneously, there is concern about the concentration of lithium-ion battery industrial activity in China.  June 9, 2020.
English Version – So, You Want to Make Batteries Better Too?
Spanish Version – Serie de comentarios de Payne – Entonces tú También Quieres Hacer Baterías

PODCAST: A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION IN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW ENERGY SECTORS 5/30/2020

PODCAST: A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION IN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW ENERGY SECTORS

Dustin Mulvaney, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Joshua Busby, and host David Spence discuss the clean energy transition in a two-part podcast; Part I: The Transition in Fossil-Fuel Dependent Communities, and Part II: Global Supply Chains and Clean Energy Justice.  The energy transition is likely to have dislocative effects on certain sectors.  These changes could have consequences for communities and sectors that rely on fossil fuels for employment and taxes. Advocates of a clean transition, for ethical reasons and for political strategic reasons, need to be attendant to their needs.  May 30, 2020.  

Global Energy Politics June 1, 2020

GLOBAL ENERGY POLITICS

Payne Institute Fellow Thijs Van de Graaf has a new book that uncovers the intricate ways in which our energy systems have shaped global outcomes in four key areas of world politics: security, the economy, the environment and global justice. We are on the cusp of a global energy shift that promises to be no less transformative for the pursuit of wealth and power in world politics than the historical shifts from wood to coal and from coal to oil. This ongoing energy transformation will not only upend the global balance of power; it could also fundamentally transfer political authority away from the nation state, empowering citizens, regions and local communities. June 1, 2020.

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For more information about the Circular Economy Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Strategy and Operations Manager, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.