Briefing Paper

Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources

A joint publication of Chatham House and Global EESE. The paper was originally published in April 2009 but was reissued in July 2009 with additions.

  • Much energy infrastructure lies in areas that are predicted to become increasingly physically unstable owing to changes in the environment.
  • Already there have been environment-related disruptions to hydroelectric installations, offshore oil and gas production, pipelines, electrical transmission and nuclear power generation.
  • As a result of scheduled decommissioning, revised environmental standards, stimulus spending and new development, there is likely to be substantial investment in new energy infrastructure.
  • It is critical that new and existing infrastructure be designed or retrofitted for changing environmental conditions.
  • It is no longer sufficient only to assess our impact on the environment; now we must also assess the impact of a changing environment on us.