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Climate Change and Energy Infrastructures Risks And Opportunities. Cleo Paskal Associate Fellow , Energy, Environment and Resource Governance Chatham House, London Adjunct Professor, SCMS, Kochi, India cp@cpaskal.com. Three challenges -- and three opportunities –

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climate change and energy infrastructures risks and opportunities

Climate Change and Energy Infrastructures Risks And Opportunities

Cleo Paskal

Associate Fellow , Energy, Environment and Resource Governance Chatham House, London

Adjunct Professor, SCMS, Kochi, India

cp@cpaskal.com

slide2

Three challenges

-- and three opportunities –

in a time of climate change

- 1. Vulnerable energy infrastructure in coastal areas

- 2. Vulnerable energy infrastructure in cold climates

- 3. Legal infrastructure poorly designed for changing geophysical circumstances

slide3

1. Vulnerable energy infrastructure in coastal areasWhen Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005 it was, at most, a Category 3 in a known hurricane zone

when katrina hit the u s gulf coast in 2005 it was at most a category 3 in a known hurricane zone
When Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005 it was, at most, a Category 3 in a known hurricane zone
slide5

Oil and Gas In the Gulf CoastUS Gulf Coast states refine around 30 per cent of the US oil supply and the Gulf itself produces around 25 per cent of domestic oil supply and 15 per cent of natural gas supplies

slide6

Katrina was an expected phenomenon in an expected location. Yet it still caused massive disruptions to the US, and global, hydrocarbon market.

damage caused by katrina and rita 2005
Damage caused by Katrina and Rita, 2005
  • 457 damaged pipelines (Minerals Management Service)
  • 113 Platforms destroyed (Minerals Management Service)
  • US Gulf Coast refines around 30% of US oil supply. Katrina alone shut down 9 of 17 refineries in hurricane zone
  • Oil production in Gulf Coast dropped to 57.37 of normal output, natural gas dropped to 40.35% (DoE)
  • Spikes in global prices.

Shell’s Mars Platform, post-Katrina

after katrina and rita much of the infrastructure was rebuilt in the same place result
After Katrina and Rita, much of the infrastructure was rebuilt in the same place. Result:

In the summer of 2008, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike caused the shutting down of much of the Gulf offshore production, spiking global prices again.

Ike alone destroyed 49 offshore oil platforms and shut 12 of 31 oil refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

climate change will make the us gulf coast energy infrastructure even more vulnerable dot
Climate change will make the US Gulf Coast energy infrastructure even more vulnerable (DoT)

1 meter sea level rise could permanently flood:

  • 24% of interstate highways
  • 72% of the area’s ports
  • 9% of the rail lines
  • 3 airports.

Storm surge of 18 feet (Katrina brought in a storm surge of 25-30 feet) could flood:

  • 51% of interstate roads
  • 98% of ports
  • 43% of freight facilities
  • 33% of rail miles
  • 22 airports
slide10

The US is about to make major investments in infrastructure. Unfortunately, so far, current US infrastructure planning rarely takes into account the likely effects of climate change.

opportunity for india infrastructure pioneer
Opportunity for India: Infrastructure Pioneer

In many areas India is putting in infrastructure for first time. It has the chance to do it in a manner that will be less affected by climate change.

India has advantages that the West had 100 years ago, with excellent engineers, inexpensive labour and (relative) access to capital. With the added bonus of skilled climate forecasters.

It could position itself as a leader in ‘climate change proof’ infrastructure, creating more stability at home, and the possibility to export expertise to places that need it.

energy infrastructure on permafrost
Energy Infrastructure on permafrost
  • Blue: Electrical transmission lines
  • Yellow: Pipelines
  • Red: Bilibino nuclear station

Source: Nature

effect of climate change on energy infrastructure in cold climates
Effect of climate change on energy infrastructure in cold climates
  • Pipelines, storage tanks, roads, railways, etc., built on permafrost potentially become substantially more unstable and expensive.
  • Ice roads have shorter windows, requiring more flying-in of supplies, increasing expense.
  • Increased erosion, landslides and slope instability add to disruptions and expense
opportunity for india india and the arctic
Opportunity for India: India and the Arctic

India is a pioneer in methane hydrate extraction.

Methane at least 20x more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2.

There are potential vast fields of methane hydrates in the Arctic, which are likely to become unstable with warming.

Extracting and using that methane before it can escape could be considered essentially a form of ‘carbon capture’, potentially qualifying it for climate change mitigation financial mechanisms.

slide16
3. Legal infrastructure poorly designed for changing geophysical circumstances. Case study: U N Convention on the Law of the Sea
our legal infrastructure is as ill equipped for climate change as our physical infrastructure
Our legal infrastructure is as ill-equipped for climate change as our physical infrastructure

200miles

our legal infrastructure is as ill equipped for climate change as our physical infrastructure18
Our legal infrastructure is as ill-equipped for climate change as our physical infrastructure

200miles

opportunity for india shape global debate
Opportunity for India: Shape Global Debate
  • All legislation/regulations/incentives/subsidies/etc. must incorporate the geophysical realities caused by environmental change in order to assure that the legislation, etc., helps resolve disputes, and doesn’t create unnecessary problems.
  • This is a potential leadership role for India. For example, in the case of shifting borders, India can lead the way in negotiating for time-fixed baseline for coastlines.
slide25

We are heading into an era in which limiting loss will be just as important as promoting growth. It is no longer enough just to think about our impact on the environment. We also have to think about -- and plan for -- the environment’s impact on us.

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