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Energy Security in 2050: A conversation about innovative policy-making

Energy Security in 2050: A conversation about innovative policy-making

Timeloc
9 June 2010
Berlin
Germany

On 9 June 2010, an Ecologic Dinner Dinner Dialogue took place, featuring Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (ret.) who shared his insights about the security implications of domestic energy supplies. In the face of climate change and growing concerns over energy supplies, Dennis McGinn stressed the need for innovative policy-making.

Dennis McGinn, who since retiring from the U.S. Navy in his most recent capacity as national security strategist, has worked as a corporate officer in the fields of energy, transportation and environment and is now the Chief Executive Officer of RemoteReality. His unique insights into security from a military perspective, coupled with his experience on  energy issues, has enabled Dennis McGinn to  look at the energy and security debate with a discerning eye.

To kick off the discussion, Dennis McGinn emphasized the need to incentivize people to look at their own energy consumption and asked in what way the government could influence people’s behaviour in the long term. He pointed out the 3+1 challenge: how to change behaviour in light of climate (1), energy (2), security (3) and prosperity (4). Finally, he highlighted the need to link smart economic choices to smart environment choices. In this context, pricing carbon, internalizing externalities of energy production, and creating social incentives to make reduced consumption “fashionable” were discussed.

The subsequent discussion with participants touched on the following issues and questions:

  • What role does the military have? Should the military be involved in the energy politicy debate?
  • What technology and research options drive innovative policy? In this context, the “spin in and spin out” effect was highlighted, i.e. that military investment into technology spins out to civilian innovation and vice versa civilian innovation is also picked up by the military.
  • Innovative policy needs to be supported by the best scientific, objective evidence to lend credibility.
  • Putting a proper price on carbon: The most effective policy option to reduce C02 Emissions?
  • It was agreed that “business as usual” should not be an option. Climate change is a potential multiplier of existing threats that can lead to conflict. To avoid conflicts and potential problems in energy supply, transparency is key.

Further Links


Speaker
Dennis McGinn
Date
9 June 2010
Location
Berlin, Germany