Category: Energy Transitions and Conflict

Cultural Heritage and Renewable Energy: How Bujagali Hydro-Electricity Generation Project sparked a latent conflict

The Bujagali hydropower dam, on the Bujagali Falls, is located on the Victoria Nile on Dumbbell Island, in Jinja. It is an important hydropower project in Uganda, and was initially approved in 1994 as the lowest cost option to increase power production in the country with a total cost of its implementation at $800 million… Read more »

Mind the Gap: Policy, Righting wrongs and circumventing oil curses in Uganda’s Albertine region

Uganda has signed a pipeline deal with Tanzania and Total to transport crude oil from Uganda’s Albertine region to Tanzania’s Tanga port for refining, but the secrecy that surrounds this $3.5 billion project attracts questions around its viable benefit to the citizenry. For Uganda, this oil presents huge opportunities and significant risks. At all London… Read more »

Improving Resource Governance and Building Sustainable Peace

In a recently published piece in World Development, Florian Krampe, Farah Hegazi and Stacy D VanDeveer explore the potentially dramatic benefits of improved environmental and resource governance for post-war peacebuilding. They outline three causal mechanisms – or pathways – for environmental peacebuilding: (a) the contact hypothesis, (b) diffusion of transnational norms, and (c) state service… Read more »

Green Spaces for “Green” Energy: What Are the Implications of Damming Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda?

Like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda finds itself with a steadily growing population and emerging economy. Simultaneously, the government struggles to provide basic services to its growing population, while preserving its natural resources. Encapsulated within this struggle is an ongoing debate between conservationists and the Ugandan government over the construction of hydroelectric dams in… Read more »

Cobalt and the Congo: A Sustainable Green Energy Transition Cannot Be Built on Human Exploitation

General Motors, one of the United State’s most important automakers, announced in January 2021 that it would phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Although one of the auto industry’s most ambitious moves, electric vehicles (EVs) cannot be produced or driven without cobalt, we cannot discuss this ferromagnetic metal… Read more »

Green & Sustainable Mining: Green-Washing in the Extractive Industries?

What is behind the recent push for mining companies to go green and improve the sustainability of their operations? Since around 2017, several policy reports and a growing number of news articles have highlighted how mining companies are increasingly trying to ensure that their operations are more environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly. Mining companies hope to… Read more »

Good Reads: Rare Earths and Conflict across Scale

Rare earths metals made a lot of news over the last decade, after most of us spent years forgetting what we once learned their names on the periodic table. Rare earths consist of 17 different metals, from scandium (element 21) down to lutetium (element 71). They are important to a host of high tech and… Read more »

Lithium in Zimbabwe: A future boom of doom?

Electric vehicles (EV) sales are on the rise. One of key ingredients for EV batteries is lithium, which is not that easily replaced as a key element in batteries. Thus, the demand in the lightweight mineral will continue to grow – the investment bank UBS estimates it demand will grow eight times by 2030. Considering… Read more »

Clean Cobalt? A new initiative for a key mineral in electric vehicles

In September of this year, Tesla joined the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), a new fair trade initiative launched by the Impact Facility earlier this year. The initiative aims to develop a supply of fairly sourced cobalt by improving practices and behaviors at cobalt mining sites. Specific goals of the FCA include eradicating the use of… Read more »