University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
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Energy Transition Lab

Corporate Energy Transition

In order to engage corporations in discussions on energy transition, Energy Transition Lab Executive Director Ellen Anderson organized several roundtable meetings with corporate sustainability leaders to discuss the Paris climate negotiations (Fall 2015); and to discuss renewable energy policy in collaboration with Lt. Governor Tina Smith (Fall 2016). At the same Prof Hari Osofsky is researching global corporate energy transition issues.

Partners

Many Minnesota corporations such as Target, Tennant, Cargill, Best Buy, General Mills, etc as well as CERES and the Sustainable Growth Coalition, the government of Australia.


Arctic Unconventional Energy Exploration and Energy Justice Project

Impact and Outcomes

Improved technology for hydraulic fracturing and deepwater drilling has dramatically increased U.S. domestic oil and gas production. Climate change–induced melting has made the Arctic increasingly accessible to offshore oil and gas operations. The Arctic is estimated to contain 13 percent of global undiscovered oil and 30 percent of global undiscovered natural gas, with approximately 80 percent of it offshore.

Bordering governments, standard setting entities, indigenous communities and corporations, along with policy makers and academic experts, are trying to address safety concerns and justice issues. The oil industry and its regulators continue to deal with the repercussions of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in regulating Arctic offshore drilling. The complexity of relevant law and institutions at many levels of government — paired with the harsh physical environment — creates major challenges for effective regulation.

In 2014-2016, the ETL helped to develop improved approaches to regulation and standard setting for Arctic offshore energy development in collaboration with key corporate and indigenous stakeholders as the U.S. assumes leadership of the Arctic Council in 2015. As discussed under Local Projects, ETL at the same time worked to foster energy justice for rural indigenous Alaskan communities through improving renewable energy access.

Partners

Oil companies, Alaskan and other Arctic region indigenous communities, relevant government agencies, academic experts

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Administration
The Energy Transition Lab is a strategic initiative of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment in partnership with the Law School.
Funding
Funding for the Energy Transition Lab is primarily provided by the Institute on the Environment. Other funders include McKnight Foundation, Energy Foundation, Carolyn Foundation, US Department of Energy, Wind Energy Foundation and the University of California Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. Support for energy storage work is provided by the Minneapolis Foundation, Great River Energy, Mortenson Construction, AES Corporation, Next Era Energy Resources, and General Electric. Funders have no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of any manuscript.