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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 email@example.com. Three challenges -- and three opportunities –
Associate Fellow , Energy, Environment and Resource Governance Chatham House, London
Adjunct Professor, SCMS, Kochi, India
-- 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
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
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
Katrina was an expected phenomenon in an expected location. Yet it still caused massive disruptions to the US, and global, hydrocarbon market.
Shell’s Mars Platform, post-Katrina
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.
1 meter sea level rise could permanently flood:
Storm surge of 18 feet (Katrina brought in a storm surge of 25-30 feet) could flood:
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.
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.
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.
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.