Kayly Ober is a senior program officer for the climate, environment and conflict program at USIP. In this role, she leads research and analysis on climate change, migration and displacement as well as transboundary water and conflict issues.

Prior to USIP, she was the senior advocate and program manager of the climate displacement program at Refugees International. She also served as a member of the Task Force on Displacement established under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. She has worked on climate change and migration issues for more than 15 years, during which time she has held positions at organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the Overseas Development Institute, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the World Bank, where she authored the flagship report “Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration.” 

Ober holds a master’s in environment and development from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s in international studies from American University. She is currently completing her doctorate in geography at the University of Bonn, where her dissertation analyzes policymaking and governance structures around the climate change-adaptation-migration nexus.

Publications By Kayly

Indonesia’s Nickel Bounty Sows Discord, Enables Chinese Control

Indonesia’s Nickel Bounty Sows Discord, Enables Chinese Control

Thursday, March 21, 2024

By: Brian Harding;  Kayly Ober

As the world moves toward cleaner forms of energy, specific minerals and metals that support this transition have become “critical.” Nickel — a major component used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries — is one such critical mineral. Demand for battery metals is forecast to increase 60-70 percent in the next two decades. This may be a boon for some. But in Indonesia, which produces more than half of the world’s nickel supply, it has led to political, environmental and ethical complications.

Type: Analysis

EnvironmentGlobal Policy

Pacific Island Nations Seek Climate Solutions Outside of COP28

Pacific Island Nations Seek Climate Solutions Outside of COP28

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

By: Kayly Ober;  Katherine Waters

While the Pacific Islands are responsible for less than 1 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, they face disproportionate impacts from climate change. These impacts are wide ranging: rising sea levels, salinization and dwindling availability of fresh water, increasing and more intense tropical storms, floods, drought, ocean acidification and coral reef bleaching. Already, NASA finds that sea level rise in Tuvalu is 1.5 times faster than the global average — and is expected to more than double by 2100.

Type: Analysis

EnvironmentGlobal Policy

To Protect the Amazon, Target Transnational Criminal Networks

To Protect the Amazon, Target Transnational Criminal Networks

Thursday, August 24, 2023

By: Kayly Ober;  Kirk Randolph

Earlier this month, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, often referred to as “Lula,” resurrected the moribund Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) with the group’s first summit in 14 years. Originally formed in 1995, ACTO was intended as a regional forum for its eight member-states to coordinate efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest. But prior to this month's meeting in Belém, Brazil, the organization had been mostly dormant since Lula’s first stint as Brazil’s president ended in 2010.

Type: Analysis

EnvironmentGlobal Policy

How Heat Waves Are Destabilizing Asia

How Heat Waves Are Destabilizing Asia

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

By: Kayly Ober

Unprecedented heat waves continue to ravage Asia this year. Temperatures have climbed to highs of 45 degrees Celsius in Myanmar, 44.5 degrees Celsius in India and 41.9 degrees Celsius in China, with Thailand and Laos breaking all-time high records.

Type: Analysis

Environment

Where Cryptocurrency, Water and Conflict Collide

Where Cryptocurrency, Water and Conflict Collide

Thursday, March 16, 2023

By: Kayly Ober

The booms and busts of the cryptocurrency industry are all over the news. But while the crypto market’s steep decline is a concern for crypto investors, the energy needed to mine cryptocurrency should be what catches the attention of policymakers. As of August 2022, total global electricity usage for crypto assets is estimated to be between 120 and 240 billion kilowatt-hours per year — more than the total used by entire countries such as Australia or Argentina. Amid the global energy crisis and efforts to stem the effects of climate change, the sheer scale of crypto’s electricity usage raises major questions regarding its sustainability.

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & PreventionEnvironment

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