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Resource Security Watch - No. 6

Edited by Chloe Thompson
July 18, 2017


CHINA'S QUEST FOR RENEWABLES
In an example of its continued interest in renewable energy, China has just brought the world's largest floating solar power plant online. The plant, which floats over a flooded former coal-mining region in Anhui province, has a capacity of producing 40MW of energy, enough to power a small town. China's efforts in the renewable energy sphere currently far outstrip those of its competitors. While the United States invests around $1 billion in renewable energy research every year, China's annual budget for renewable energy research hovers around $2 billion. (
World Economic Forum, June 2, 2017)

CANADA EYES THE ARCTIC
Canada's annual defense policy review, just concluded by the Trudeau government, includes a major focus on the Arctic in a move that reflects growing strategic interest in the area among multiple world powers. The new draft policy guidance recommends significant improvements to military equipment that supports Arctic operations, including five to six new offshore patrol ships, new snowmobiles, and new drone and satellite capabilities. Furthermore, the Canadian government plans to expand the country's Air Defense Identification Zone (CADIZ) deeper into the Arctic, to encompass the Queen Elizabeth Islands. (
Arctic Deeply, June 16, 2017)

INDIA TO CRAFT NATIONAL DESALINATION PLAN
India's union minister of earth sciences, Harsh Vardhan, has announced plans for a national desalination mission to deal with mounting ground and surface water shortages. India currently has more than 100 large and small desalination plants, but Vardhan plans to develop a more unified national strategy to tackle the problem. The lack of portable water presents a particularly acute problem in India today; in southern provinces, rivers can run dry and leave locals with no source of fresh water, while current transport infrastructure makes deliveries of supplies from elsewhere problematic. A coordinated plan to use India's natural resources in a more strategic fashion could help Delhi to mitigate growing agricultural and health challenges. (
Hindustan Times, June 16, 2017)

DESPITE DONOR AID, RISING FOOD INSECURITY
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a USAID initiative that tracks acute food insecurity around the world, has revised its estimates of the maximum number of people requiring food aid this year upward - from 70 million people to 81 million people. The new estimate is 20 percent higher than food assistance needed in 2016, and 70 percent higher than food assistance needed in 2015. Reasons for this revised estimate include the continuing conflicts in South Sudan, Yemen, northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; severe cholera outbreaks in Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Nigeria; and an exceptionally dry rainy season in the Horn of Africa. This increase, moreover, comes despite the $2.2 billion the global community has committed to emergency food security assistance to date. (
Famine Early Warning Systems Network, June 21, 2017)

SLOWLY, A CONGRESSIONAL FOCUS ON RESOURCE SECURITY
Once a distinctly partisan issue, the national security effects of environment and resources are beginning to be considered more seriously - and in more bipartisan fashion - in Congress. In its latest authorization for defense spending, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) included an amendment requiring the Department of Defense to issue a report on the top ten installations at risk from environmental threats in each geographic combatant command. Specific problems to be considered include rising sea levels, increased risk of wildfires, and dislocation brought about by droughts. The report is also intended to include recommendations as to how to best address these challenges. (
The Hill, June 28, 2017)


Related Categories: North America; Energy Security; China; India; Human Rights

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