Energy Security in 2050: A conversation about innovative policy-making
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.
- Bio Dennis McGinn [pdf, 93 KB, English]
- Project: Environmental Security in the Arctic
- Dinner Dialogue: Transatlantic Transition towards a Low Carbon Economy – Christopher Flavin
- Dinner Dialogue: Climate Change and the Concept of Environmental Security under the Obama administration – Sherri Goodman
- Dinner Dialogue: New Threats Arising from Climate Change and Energy Scarcity – What Role for International Governance? – Jamie Shea and Helga Schmid
- Publication: Security Through Energy Policy: Germany at the Crossroads (Kraemer, R. Andreas 2009, eJournal USA, Jg. 14, Nr. 9, 19-21.)
- Publication: Missed Chances on Energy Security (Müller-Kraenner, Sascha 2007, AICGS Advisor, 11 May 2007. Washington: American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS)
- Presentation by R. Andreas Kraemer: Climate Change as a Security Threat of the Next Generation for NATO Brussels, 24 February 2009