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Building a Resilient Future Post COVID-19

SherriGoodman2018While states partially reopen and begin taking the first steps to bring back the American economy, many are still feeling the damaging effects COVID-19 has put on the workforce. As of May 21st, almost 40 million have people claimed unemployment benefits, and those that have returned to work often do so at reduced hours and pay.[1] In response, Sherri Goodman and Greg Douquet have proposed the establishment of a Citizens Energy and Climate Corps (CEEC) that would “put Americans back to work building a sustainable and resilient advanced-energy future” once economic activity rebounds. 

Sherri Goodman served as the first Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (environmental security), serves on the board of the Council on Strategic Risks and as a Senior Strategist for its Center for Climate and Security. She is also a senior fellow at the Wilson Center. Greg Douquet is a former Marine Corps colonel, co-founder and managing partner of Red Duke Strategies LLC, and co-Director of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s Veterans Advanced Energy Project. Their proposal for a Citizens Energy and Climate Corps is inspired by the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps that put Americans back to work following the Great Depression and built many of America’s critical infrastructure. Today, the CEEC would “train and educate workers so they can be on the front lines of the energy industry of tomorrow.”[2] (more…)

Climate Risks to the U.S. Energy System and Implications for National Security

CFR_Climate Risk Energy System_Sept 2019In a recently-published Council on Foreign Relations report on climate risks to the U.S. energy system, Center for Climate and Security (CCS) Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Joshua Busby, explores the links between climate risks to energy in the United States, and its implications for national security – including for the military. The article, “A Clear and Present Danger: Climate Risks, the Energy System, and U.S. National Security,” builds on CCS’s 2019 Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission, 2nd Edition, but extends beyond the military space – assessing risks to other critical infrastructure, energy systems and energy markets that are important for national security. The article offers both analysis and recommendations for next steps in terms of research and analysis. On the recommendations side, Dr. Busby notes (on page 64):

Energy-sector risks from climate change for bases (and surrounding communities) are the most obvious starting points for action, building off the 2018 and 2019 studies. A more challenging assessment would identify the metropolitan areas most at risk from climate-related humanitarian emergencies and the resource and organizational implications for different parts of the U.S. government, including the military. A further step would require assessing the extent to which international climate disruptions could have an effect on U.S. energy markets domestically or the extent to which disruptions to U.S. energy markets could have ripple effects internationally. Together, such analytical work could set the stage for productive priority setting and an inventory of actionable investments to shore up U.S. climate resilience.

Click here to read the full article (begins on page 54).

Department of Energy awards a $100 million grant to support desalination research

Wonthaggi_desalination_plant_DSC_6478By Marc Kodack

In December 2018 the Department of Energy (DOE) announced an intention to establish an Energy-Water Desalination Hub (Hub). On September 23, 2019, DOE announced the award of a five-year, $100 million grant to create the Hub to the National Alliance for Water Innovation led by the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Alliance consists of multiple DOE labs, universities, and industry. The Hub’s water security focus will be on research and development “to provide low-cost alternatives that treat “non-traditional” water sources such as seawater, brackish water, and produced waters, for use in municipal and industrial water supplies, or to serve other water resource needs.” (more…)

The Climate Threat to the US Energy System

nato-energy-mc-190412-

Solar panels are tested during a NATO exercise in Hungary

In an article published in Defense One last week, Amy Myers Jaffe highlights the results of a March 2019 Council on Foreign Relations workshop with 44 experts (including the Director of the Center for Climate and Security, John Conger) titled “Climate Risk Impacts on the Energy System: Examining the Financial, Security, and Technological Dimensions.” The conversation was wide-ranging, exploring critical energy systems across both the civilian and military realms. On the military side of the ledger, the group raised serious concerns about the vulnerability of the Department of Defense’s energy supply to climate change-driven disruptions. In particular: (more…)

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