Is Climate Change a Security Issue?

Is Climate Change a Security Issue?

There is a significant yet still under-researched connection between climate change and security-related risks. The frequency of extreme weather events, including flooding, severe droughts and other associated impacts of global warming are contributing to the reduction of crop yields, diminishing water resources, and ultimately impacting human livelihood. In some cases, these events have contributed to the migration of ‘climate refugees’ in order to meet their basic human needs, including access to water, food, electricity, and shelter. As a result, climate change is increasingly entering the policy arena as a significant security issue.

French Environment Minister’s Resignation: A Frustrated Call for Climate Action

French Environment Minister’s Resignation: A Frustrated Call for Climate Action

On Tuesday, August 28, French environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced he was quitting Emmanuel Macron’s government—on live radio. During his interview with France Inter, a frustrated Hulot explained, “I don’t want to give the illusion that my presence in government means we’re answering these issues properly—and so I have decided to leave the government.”
Hulot, Macron’s most popular cabinet minister and former television presenter and environmental activist, said that his decision was “the most difficult decision of my life,” and was made on the spot—neither Macron nor Hulot’s wife were aware that he was going to resign.

China’s Gas Shortage

China’s Gas Shortage

Recent strategies and policies to phase out coal in China have led to an increase in demand for natural gas. In October 2017, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection unveiled plans to cut harmful air pollution, especially the particularly damaging fine particulate matter known as PM2.5. The plan, or “Coal Ban,” has set strict targets on air quality levels in addition to a ban on burning coal in 28 of its northern cities, including Beijing. However, while the air quality improved significantly in Beijing this past winter, the rapid ban on coal burning and the transition to natural gas has left thousands without heat.

SCOOP & STACK Causing Cracks: Oklahoma Tightens Regulations to Curb Fracking Earthquakes

SCOOP & STACK Causing Cracks: Oklahoma Tightens Regulations to Curb Fracking Earthquakes

After a slew of earthquakes triggered from shale oil and gas operations, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the state’s oil and gas regulator, released new rules designed to reduce seismic activity. Hydraulic fracturing—fracking—is being used in combination with horizontal drilling to extract shale oil and gas in what has been called the “US’s hottest new area for horizontal development” in the state’s SCOOP and STACK shale plays, located in the Anadarko Basin.

Networking, New Skills, and Learning from Others: An Interview with Spencer Schecht

Networking, New Skills, and Learning from Others: An Interview with Spencer Schecht

This coming week at our 5th Annual Green Jobs Forum, Spencer Schecht, co-owner of Green Drinks DC, will be running a workshop entitled “Fear is Your Copilot: Networking in Washington DC”.
We wanted to take the time to catch up with Spencer and hear about his experience as an early-career climate and energy professional in the DC area, and his tips and suggestions for clean energy jobseekers.

France’s Energy Future with Macron at the Helm

France’s Energy Future with Macron at the Helm

France is in the enviable position of having among the lowest energy costs in Europe, coupled with low carbon emissions--thanks to 58 nuclear plants that provide 75% of France’s total energy consumption. As a result of nuclear investment, France is currently the largest net-exporter of energy in the world, bringing in revenues estimated at 3 billion euros annually.

But the French nuclear plants were designed with an expected 40-year life-span, and their average age is now 35 years. And France, while using a high percentage of recycled nuclear fuel in power production, still faces the problem of how to handle waste products. Thus, the government faces a choice: invest in renewing the fleet of nuclear plants or invest in renewables—or support a mix of the two. Decommissioning old nuclear plants, building a new generation of plants, developing a system of renewables—all these options come with significant price tags.

Car Dealerships as a Barrier to Electric Vehicle Uptake

Car Dealerships as a Barrier to Electric Vehicle Uptake

A recent study conducted by Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and published in Nature Energy has found that car dealerships are a key impediment to the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to diesel- and gasoline-fueled vehicles in Northern Europe. The study, which focusses on Nordic countries, found that this outcome stems from sales personnel failing to mention EVs and providing customers with misinformation about electric vehicle specifications, with a "bias towards selling traditional, internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) instead." Importantly, the study found that of the 126 car dealerships examined and that sell EVs, over three quarters neglected to mention electric vehicles.

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