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

It’s time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what’s next 9/23/2020

It’s time for states that grew rich from oil, gas and coal to figure out what’s next

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler, Matt Henry, and Morgan Bazilian write about the very challenging times for U.S. fossil fuel-producing states, such as Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota. The COVID-19 economic downturn has reduced energy demand, with uncertain prospects for the extent of its recovery. Meanwhile, rising concern about climate change and the declining cost of renewable energy are precipitating a sharp decline in demand for coal in particular.  September 23, 2020. 

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

11 WAYS TO MEASURE CLEAN GROWTH

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices that highlights the multiple facets of clean growth by unpacking the connections between economic growth, climate change, and human well-being. We identify 11 data-driven indicators that, together, can guide efforts by governments, businesses, and communities to not only tackle climate change but to do so in a way that achieves sustained growth and the best overall outcomes for people and society as a whole.  September 22, 2020.  

BP Releases Energy Outlook 9/14/2020

BP Releases Energy Outlook

Payne Institute Fellow Michael Cohen, Chief U.S. Economist and Head of Oil Analysis at BP, produced the Energy Outlook that explores the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2050 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The global energy system is likely to undergo a fundamental restructuring in order to decarbonize, which will create challenges and opportunities for the industry. Three main scenarios – Rapid, Net Zero, and Business-as-usual – provide a range of possible outcomes to understand the range of uncertainties ahead.  September 14, 2020. 

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action 9/10/2020

Beware of climate delay, masquerading as climate action

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon writes an opinion piece about the slow-walking action on climate has almost the same impact as outright denial.  As political leaders face growing calls for climate action, we must be careful to understand where investments in technological development are, in fact, a form of climate delay, masquerading as action.  September 10, 2020.

3.5 BILLION PEOPLE LACK RELIABLE POWER 9/8/2020

3.5 BILLION PEOPLE LACK RELIABLE POWER

Payne Fellow Todd Moss, Morgan Bazilian, Jacob Kincer, and John Ayaburi write about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 that commits the world to ending energy poverty by “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.” The dominant measurement of progress against SDG7 is the access rate, which measures the number of people with basic household electricity. There is no accepted international indicator for reliability. A new approach will help to fill this gap. September 8, 2020.

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy 8/31/2020

Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID World Sustainable Energy

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was a co-author on the Second Consultative Science Platform of the IIASA-ISC “Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID-19 World” that aims to harness the transformative power of crisis to imagine a more sustainable world. The authors gathered with a focus on science -to deliberate on the following overarching questions: How should COVID-19 and related stimulus and/or recovery packages be directed to build back better to create the maximum impact on the  transition to sustainable development; and how can a decarbonized, decentralized, and digitalized energy system make our society more resilient? How can the ability of science, policy and governance systems be enhanced to rapidly respond to unforeseen shocks? August 31, 2020.

CSIS Energy 360° Podcast – Getting to Reliable Electricity Access 8/31/2020

Energy 360° Podcast – Getting to Reliable Electricity Access

Payne Institute Advisory Board Member Sarah Ladislaw and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) host Morgan Bazilian for a podcast to discuss energy access globally and some of the metrics used to measure access. The Payne Institute recently released ‘Measuring “Reasonably Reliable” Access to Electricity Services,’ which provides an in-depth view of the gaps in global electricity access and how quality of access matters as much as quantity.  August 31, 2020.

Alberta’s deficit is set to reach historic levels. A collapse in oil revenue is a big reason why 8/27/2020

ALBERTA’S  DEFICIT IS SET TO REACH HISTORIC LEVELS.  A COLLAPSE IN OIL REVENUE IS A BIG REASON WHY

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon contributes to this article about how resource revenue is expected to fall to levels not seen since the 1970s as Jason Kenney’s UCP government announces deficit projections $16.8 billion higher than previously forecast. August 27, 2020.

Energy vs. Climate podcast 8/21/2020

Energy vs. Climate Podcast

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, David Keith, and Ed Whittingham break down the trade-offs and hard truths of the energy transition in Alberta, Canada, and beyond in a series of podcasts.  August 21, 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.