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Columbia Energy Exchange

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.
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Feb 20, 2024

Brazil is in a strategic position when it comes to energy and climate issues. It holds the presidency of the G20 nations this year and the UN climate talks – or COP30 – in 2025.

This comes as the nation sees a significant reduction in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and new commitments to pursue low-carbon technologies, such as hydrogen, and establish a regulated carbon market. At the same time, Brazil, the biggest producer of oil in Latin America, is planning to ramp up its output.

So, how is the energy transition unfolding in Brazil? And how can the country balance environmental protection and energy security? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Thiago Barral about how Brazil plans to build up clean energy technologies, and how geopolitics shapes that strategy.

Thiago is the national secretary of planning and energy transition of the Ministry of Mines and Energy for Brazil. Before his role as secretary, Thiago was the president of the Energy Research Company, a Brazilian institution responsible for energy planning studies and official state energy statistics. He joined the Energy Research Company in 2007, and also served as director of energy economics and environmental studies.

Feb 13, 2024

Against the backdrop of climate change, a global debt crisis is raising concerns about the cost of the energy transition. Countries in the Global South — which are trying to balance economic development and climate adaptation — are calling for reforms to the global financial system to get more access to cheaper capital.

 

The World Bank, which provides loans and grants to emerging and developing economies, is a major financier of international development. Last year, it delivered $38.6 billion in climate finance. But because of its significant capacity, the organization is often scrutinized for how it manages and allocates funds.

So, how can the global financial system better support emerging and developing economies amid a changing climate? And how is the World Bank under a new president, Ajay Banga, working to meet these challenges? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Axel van Trotsenburg about the World Bank’s climate agenda. 

Axel is the World Bank’s senior managing director, responsible for development policies and partnerships. As such, he is the second in command at the bank. He directs the organization’s core work on sustainable development, with a focus on climate change, fragility, human capital, and sustainable debt. Axel has been with the World Bank for more than 30 years, having also held various senior positions there.

Feb 6, 2024

For more than three decades, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has prepared comprehensive scientific assessments about the drivers and risks of climate change. The assessments, released every five to seven years, also explain how mitigation and adaptation could reduce those risks. 

To confront the growing urgency of the climate crisis, governments around the world turn to the IPCC for guidance on emissions reductions strategies. That said, the organization makes clear that its research is not meant to be prescriptive. 

So, how do its findings support climate policy and action around the world? And what role does science play in shaping global climate negotiations? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with IPCC’s Jim Skea about how the organization’s research contributes to public policy. 

Jim is the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Before his election as chair in July 2023, he was the co-chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, which focuses on climate change mitigation. Jim also served as the chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission from 2018 to 2023 and was a founding member of the United Kingdom’s Committee on Climate Change.

Jan 30, 2024

Within days of taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to create the Justice40 Initiative. The policy aims to allocate 40% of the benefits of federal clean energy and climate investments to frontline communities. 

For the energy sector, it’s helping to shine a growing light on  “energy justice.” Historically, the current energy system has negatively impacted disadvantaged communities the most – communities that often lack access to affordable energy, are excluded from potential benefits of a clean energy economy, and suffer the greatest harms from climate change. The Energy Opportunity Lab at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is working to address these challenges, among many others. 

So, what progress has been made in ensuring energy justice for frontline communities? And with the energy transition continuing to accelerate in size and scale, how do we make sure disadvantaged communities aren’t left behind?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Shalanda Baker about the historical inequities of energy systems, and the Biden administration’s agenda on energy equity and climate justice.

Shalanda is the director of the Office of Energy Justice and Equity in the U.S. Department of Energy, and the secretarial advisor on equity. She also serves as chief diversity officer for the agency. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 2022, Shalanda served as the nation’s first-ever deputy director for energy justice. Before joining the Biden administration, she co-founded and co-directed the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change.

Jan 23, 2024

Around the world, new policies like the Inflation Reduction Act or the European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism aim to accelerate the pace of decarbonization. But these same policies have also fueled trade tensions and raised concerns about protectionism. 

A successful clean energy transition means much more trade in clean energy technologies and products, according to the International Energy Agency. A rules-based global trading system, governed by the World Trade Organization, underpins much of that trade. But increasingly the WTO has faced challenges and calls for reform, particularly around issues of sustainability and climate change. 

So what reforms are needed to align the global trade framework with climate goals and policies around the world? And how can the World Trade Organization support both economic progress and sustainable development? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dan Esty about how climate policy and trade policy intersect.

Dan is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University and director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. He just finished public service leave working at the World Trade Organization and is co-leading the Remaking Global Trade for a Sustainable Future Project. Dan has written numerous books on environmental responsibility and economic progress, including Green to Gold and Greening the GATT. He previously served in a number of leadership roles at the Environmental Protection Agency, and as the Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from 2011 to 2014.

Jan 16, 2024

The Department of the Interior is a key player in the energy transition in the U.S.. The federal government owns about 28% of the 2.3 billion acres of land in the country. The Department is responsible for permitting oil and gas drilling, renewable development, and mining on its vast land holdings. 

At the same time, the DOI is tasked with protecting America’s national parks and wilderness holdings for future generations. As the urgency of the climate crisis grows, the agency is at the heart of the difficult trade-offs between conservation and energy development that will define the energy transition. 

What does an environmentally and socially responsible approach to the energy transition look like? And how does the federal government weigh the impacts and benefits of energy development on public lands?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Tommy Beaudreau about the DOI’s effort to protect public lands and support the development of a domestic clean energy economy.

Tommy is the co-chair of WilmerHale’s energy, environment, and natural resources practice, and a distinguished visiting fellow at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy. He recently served as deputy secretary of the Department of Interior from 2021-2023. Tommy served in senior leadership roles in the Department for nearly a decade across two administrations, including as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2011.

Jan 9, 2024

As 2024 kicks off, energy and climate policy discussions loom large in Washington. With the added complexity of the November presidential elections in the U.S., it remains uncertain what will happen regarding the increasingly partisan issues of environmental regulation and green industrial policy.

The Biden administration plans to continue implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, but Republicans in Congress could take action to hinder further progress. And government agencies, like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, could be significantly impacted by the Supreme Court’s ruling on a case that questions agencies’ ability to enact regulations. 

So, what can we expect to happen in the nation’s capital on the energy and climate front this year? And where are the reporters who follow this beat going to focus their attention? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with journalists Jennifer Dlouhy and Justin Worland about what they’re keeping an eye on this year, and how Democrats and Republicans might approach major energy policy issues. 

Jennifer is an energy and environmental policy reporter at Bloomberg News. Before joining Bloomberg in 2015, she was the Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle where she covered energy and environmental policy with a special focus on oil and gas.

Justin is a senior correspondent at TIME, where he covers climate change and the intersection of policy, politics, and society. In 2022, he received Covering Climate Now’s inaugural Climate Journalist of the Year Award.

Jan 2, 2024

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year marked not only significant climate action but efforts to shape industrial policy. Through billions of dollars of subsidies, the IRA aimed to quicken the pace and scale of the energy transition and also bolster domestic manufacturing and the economy. While providing an infusion of capital to America’s clean energy economy, the legislation heightened trade tensions around the world, with other countries vying to capture their share of clean energy supply chains. 

How does this green industrial strategy fit within the Biden Administration’s climate and economic goals? What potential impacts could policy have on the trade risks to the energy transition? And how might the energy transition affect the economy or economic inequities in American society?

This week for our second and final holiday rerun, we’re featuring host Jason Bordoff’s interview with Heather Boushey about the Biden Administration’s climate and economic policies and the case for green spending.

Heather is a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Biden administration and chief economist to the Biden administration’s “Invest in America” cabinet. Heather works on domestic investment and implementation of infrastructure and clean energy laws. She previously co-founded the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, where she served as chief economist, president and CEO. She has also held the position of chief economist for the Center for American Progress.

Dec 26, 2023

In April of this year, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy reached its 10th anniversary. So this week, we’re bringing back the conversation between hosts Bill Loveless and Jason Bordoff about the special milestone. 

With the help of some colleagues, Jason founded CGEP in 2013 to produce unbiased, evidence-based research that examines energy issues in economics, national security, environment, and climate.

Ten years later, CGEP is busier than ever addressing the world’s energy and climate challenges through research, education, and dialogue.

Jason is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy. He previously served as a special assistant to President Obama, and senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. He has held senior policy positions on the White House’s National Economic Council and Council on Environmental Quality. Earlier in his career, Jason was a scholar at the Brookings Institution, served in the Treasury Department during the Clinton administration, and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company. 

He is also a co-founding dean emeritus of the Columbia Climate School. 

 

Dec 19, 2023

Climate change is threatening human health across the globe. Extreme weather events like wildfires and heat waves are causing immediate and long-term health risks, with sometimes deadly results. According to this year’s Lancet Countdown report, which tracks the effects of climate change on human health, the impacts are getting worse. 

To address this growing crisis, the recent UN Conference on Climate Change, or COP28, featured its first ever Health Day. Discussions there established the issue as a vital factor in climate negotiations. But the final agreement from the climate talks does not include the phasing out of fossil fuels, which is language many health experts were hoping to see included. 

So, how do researchers track the connection between climate change and human health? What are the key indicators? And what do they warn will be the consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Marina Romanello about the intersection of health and climate change. 

Marina is the executive director of the Lancet Countdown, and a climate change and health researcher at University College London. She has also carried out research in the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, and the Francis Crick Institute. From 2020-2021, Marina helped England’s National Health System develop net-zero commitments.

Dec 12, 2023

Averting the worst impacts of climate change requires rapidly reducing carbon emissions across all sectors. This is particularly challenging for some so-called “hard-to-abate” sectors like cement and steel manufacturing. Carbon management – which includes carbon transport; carbon utilization and storage; direct air capture; and point source carbon capture – seeks to trap or remove carbon emissions where they can’t be easily avoided. 

Recent policies like the Inflation Reduction Act have given these technologies a boost. But major questions remain regarding their feasibility, cost, and scalability. As the climate crisis unfolds, these questions urgently need answers.

What is the role for carbon management in the energy transition? Who should be responsible for deploying these technologies? And can they be scaled quickly enough to play a role in meeting the world’s climate goals?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Julio Friedmann about the basics of carbon management and the regulatory landscape for this sector.

Julio is the chief scientist at Carbon Direct, a consulting and investment firm focused on carbon management and carbon removal solutions. He served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy from 2013 to 2016, where he was responsible for the Department’s research and development program across a variety of energy technologies. Until recently, Julio was a senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy.

Dec 5, 2023

In 2022, the United States and the European Union consumed more than twice as much energy as Africa and Southeast Asia combined, despite having roughly a third of the population. At the same time, developing countries are experiencing the most severe impacts of climate change even though they’ve contributed the least to cumulative emissions.

Many of these regions are endowed with considerable clean energy potential as well as large deposits of oil and gas. Africa, for example, has the world’s greatest solar potential, 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, and large untapped oil and gas reserves. For the energy transition to succeed, the large and growing populations in emerging and developing economies must be able to meet their domestic energy needs affordably and sustainably and capitalize on their natural resources. 

What is the outlook for clean energy development in emerging and developing economies? What can be done to ensure that the benefits of the energy transition accrue to historically disadvantaged communities? And what is Africa’s role in the growing market for clean energy?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Zainab Usman about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Africa’s energy development. 

Zainab is a senior fellow and director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to Carnegie, she was a public sector specialist at the World Bank. She has written on energy and economic development in Africa, and was the lead author of the Carnegie Endowment’s recent report, “How Can African Countries Participate in U.S. Clean Energy Supply Chains?”

Nov 28, 2023

This week, climate leaders, scholars, and activists from around the world will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the annual United Nations conference on climate change known as COP. Many highly debated topics will take center stage at this year’s COP28, including the role of fossil fuels in meeting future global energy demands, the follow through on loss and damage commitments from last year’s meeting, and rising international trade tensions over clean energy economics.

Even the location of the meeting has sparked debate. The UAE is a major oil exporting country, and the CEO of its national oil company, Ahmed Al Jaber, is this year’s COP president. 

So, how will world leaders address some of these major topics? And what could be the outcome of this year’s meeting? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with David Sandalow and Sagatom Saha about COP28. 

David is the director of the energy and environment concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is also the inaugural fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and founded and directs the Center’s U.S.-China Program. Before joining Columbia, David served in senior positions at the White House and at the U.S. State and Energy departments.

Sagatom is a senior associate in the energy transition practice at Macro Advisory Partners as well as an adjunct research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy. He previously worked on cleantech competitiveness at the International Trade Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and served as a special adviser to the Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy, John Kerry.

Nov 21, 2023

When it comes to energy and climate, Canada is a key player and a land of contrasts. It gets more than 80% of its electricity from low-carbon sources and has a hefty carbon tax. It’s also a major oil and gas producer, and has resources for the metals and minerals needed for a clean energy transition. 

As the urgency of the climate crisis grows, the Canadian government has committed to accelerate its climate goals. At the same time, the importance of oil and gas to the Canadian economy, along with the thorny politics of climate, makes reducing its reliance on fossil fuels difficult. Canada also faces challenges balancing energy production and critical mineral mining with a commitment to upholding the rights and sovereignty of First Nations communities. 

How is the Canadian government planning to meet its climate goals? What would a just energy transition look like for the country? And what are its leaders hoping to achieve at COP28?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Steven Guilbeault about recent developments in Canadian energy and climate policy, and what he is hoping to achieve at COP28. 

Guilbeault is Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and an elected member of Parliament. He previously served as Minister of Canadian Heritage. Prior to serving in Parliament, he was the senior director of Équiterre, Quebec’s largest environmental organization, which he co-founded in 1993. He has also worked as a director and campaign manager for Greenpeace, and was a strategic advisor to Cycle Capital, a Canadian clean technology fund.

Nov 14, 2023

Three months ago, deadly wildfires swept across the western shore of Maui. It was the deadliest environmental disaster in Hawaii’s history. Now the community is rebuilding, and around the state residents are preparing for more extreme weather events. 

Elemental Excelerator, a Honolulu-based non-profit investor in climate technology, relies on local knowledge to create a wide range of climate solutions. The organization pairs technology startups with local nonprofits, which have a deep understanding of community needs.

This model aims to address the unique challenges that Hawaii faces in the ever-worsening climate crisis. Elemental says these solutions can scale well beyond the islands. 

So, in the aftermath of the Maui fires, what is the community doing to rebuild? What other projects are underway across Hawaii? And how can local solutions be used at a global level?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Dawn Lippert about community-oriented technology investments.

Dawn is the founder and CEO of Elemental Excelerator. In 2009, she created a climate focused investment platform called Energy Excelerator, which merged with the Emerson Collective eight years later to form Elemental Excelerator. Dawn also chaired the advisory board for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative from 2015 to 2020. In addition to leading Elemental, Dawn is a founding partner at Earthshot Ventures, and the founder and board member of Women in Renewable Energy.

Nov 7, 2023

The practice of capturing steam bursting through the earth’s surface to generate electricity has been around for more than a century. This is the traditional concept of geothermal energy.

But thanks to research and development in both the private and public sectors, new forms of capturing subsurface heat have been developed. Fervo Energy, an advanced geothermal start-up, made headlines this year with breakthroughs in drilling techniques inspired by those of oil and gas. After a successful 30-day pilot this summer, known as Project Red, Fervo proved it can produce 24/7 carbon-free energy using enhanced geothermal systems. 

So what led to these breakthroughs? And what role can geothermal play in the energy transition? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Tim Latimer about innovation in geothermal technology and scaling opportunities in the U.S.

Tim is the co-founder and CEO of Fervo Energy. After studying geothermal energy in grad school at Stanford University, he started the company in 2017 with Jack Norbeck. Before Stanford, Tim worked as a drilling engineer for BHP Billiton in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas. He has also worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, Biota Technology, and McClure Geo-mechanics.

Oct 31, 2023

“Coal demand reached a new all-time high in 2022.” That was the headline of the International Energy Agency’s annual coal market update, released in July of this year. In fact, 2022 was the third year in a row that global coal consumption has increased. 

This growth occurs against the backdrop of an ever-worsening climate crisis driven by energy sector emissions, of which coal accounts for 40%, and it’s why the IEA’s own executive director Fatih Birol called for an end to new coal power plant construction in a recent op-ed. But despite coal’s impact on the climate, it remains a vital source of energy for much of the world, particularly in Asia. 

What is the outlook for coal in the years to come? What will it take to move away from the fuel? And what would phasing it out mean for emerging and developing economies?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Carlos Fernández Alvarez about the findings of this year’s Coal Market Update.

Carlos is a senior coal analyst at the International Energy Agency, and recently served as the acting head of the Gas, Coal, and Power Markets division. He was the lead author on this year’s Coal Market Update and has contributed to many other IEA reports, including the organization’s flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Carlos has 25 years of experience in the energy sector, serving as an energy consultant, an energy advisor for the Spanish Government, and later as the director of the Spanish Coal Agency.

Oct 24, 2023

The energy transition requires a lot of minerals. Lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel, and other materials that are collectively known as “critical minerals” are vital components of most clean energy technologies. According to the International Energy Agency, getting on track for net zero will mean a sixfold increase in the demand for these materials by 2040.

But mineral production has a mixed history. Without proper protections, mining can have negative impacts on environmental health, labor practices, and Indigenous communities. Therefore, the prospects for a just energy transition will depend both on meeting future demand for critical minerals, and on doing so in a just and sustainable way. 

What does the next decade hold for the mining industry? What challenges will critical minerals pose for energy and geopolitics? And what can be done today to overcome these challenges?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with Ernest Scheyder about critical mineral supply.

Ernest is a senior correspondent for Reuters covering the green energy transition and critical minerals. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives. The War Below details the complex choices facing our world as the energy transition accelerates. Ernie has previously covered the American shale oil revolution, politics, and the environment

Oct 17, 2023

Fifty years ago today, on October 17, 1973, a group of Arab oil ministers announced an embargo on oil exports to the United States and other countries in retaliation for America’s support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli War. What followed is seared into the American psyche: Fuel shortages across the country left drivers waiting for hours at the gas pump. Even the White House’s Christmas tree remained unlit as a sign of austerity. 

The Arab Oil Embargo has defined energy policy in Washington ever since. In the decades following, markets evolved and governments developed new tools to deal with fuel shortages. But underlying risks remain.

What is the legacy of the Arab Oil Embargo? How do today’s energy security risks compare to those from 1973? And how does the climate crisis complicate efforts to address them?  

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Daniel Yergin about the legacy of the Arab Oil Embargo, the current crisis in the Middle East, and the outlook for energy security.

Dan is the vice chairman of S&P Global, a major financial information and analytics company. He is the author of several books on the history of energy, including his newest, The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations and his Pulitzer Prize winner, The Prize. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on energy, economics, and geopolitics.

Dan spoke at the Center on Global Energy Policy on October 11, 2023 for an event marking the 50th anniversary of the Arab Oil Embargo. His keynote remarks can be found here.

Oct 10, 2023

As we move on from the hottest summer on record, climate change and its effects remain in the national zeitgeist. The topic has been featured in both Democratic and Republican presidential discussions. The Biden administration continues to advocate for the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to fight climate change by cleaning up various pollution-heavy industries.


But politics are just one lens for looking at climate change. A series of surveys from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change study public opinion of climate change from different perspectives.  

So, how worried, frustrated, or hopeful are people feeling about the climate crisis? What specifically do registered voters in America think about the issue? And how do those sentiments compare to other countries around the world? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Anthony Leiserowitz about Yale’s and George Mason’s “Climate Change in the American Mind” report series, and beliefs held around the world.

Anthony is the founder and director of the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, and a senior research scientist at the Yale School of the Environment. He has worked with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Economic Forum, and many other major organizations to understand the psychological, cultural, and political factors that shape climate change beliefs. In 2020, he was named one of the most influential climate scientists in the world by Reuters. Anthony also hosts “Climate Connections,’’a daily 90-second podcast about the climate crisis.

Oct 3, 2023

As the world changes over the next few decades, many young people in school or just starting their careers, will be working in the major industries impacted by climate change. Here at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, the Charif Souki Global Energy Fellows are studying the current challenges of the climate crisis and how to build the future they want to live in. 

This episode features two conversations with the fellows. As people raised in a time of elevated climate consciousness, they bring a fresh perspective to the energy transition. 

So, what do the next generation of energy professionals think about the climate crisis? And what do they see as solutions for a sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Meha Jain and Kathryn Obisesan. 

Meha is pursuing a Master in Public Administration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. She aspires to help protect low-income and vulnerable communities through energy and climate transitions. This summer, she worked with Warc Ghana, a social enterprise that provides agricultural services and consulting operations to Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Kathryn is working on a Master of International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs with a focus on energy and environment. Before attending Columbia, she worked as a junior policy analyst at the OECD-Nuclear Energy Agency. This summer she worked for the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 

Sep 26, 2023

Around the world, activists are turning to the courts to hold major polluters accountable for climate change. This recently played out in the United States. Young plaintiffs in Montana successfully presented scientific evidence that connects the states’ greenhouse gas emissions to environmental harm.

Many legal experts say the case, Montana v. Held, is another major development for climate litigation. Other cases playing out across the globe show the courts could be a way to reduce CO2 emissions in the private sector. 

So, what are some of the other major legal cases aimed at fighting climate change? And how could they impact the push to reduce global emissions? 

This week, host Bill Loveless talks with Michael Gerrard about current trends in global climate change litigation, including the expanding range of legal theories that are being applied.

Michael is the founder and faculty director of Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, where he writes and teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation. He was the chair of the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2015 to 2018. Before joining Columbia in 2009, Michael practiced environmental law in New York for three decades.

The Sabin Center maintains a database that tracks climate change litigation around the world. As of December 31, 2022, the database included 2,180 cases. In addition, the Sabin Center and the UN Environment Program recently issued the 2023 “Global Climate Litigation Report,” which takes into account information from that database.

Sep 19, 2023

Investment is rising in America’s clean energy sector. According to the Clean Investment Monitor, a joint project of the Rhodium Group and MIT, the sector received $213 billion in new investment over the past year, a 37% increase over the previous year. 

This new investment brings new challenges, such as implementing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), translating money into infrastructure, sustaining support for the energy transition, and fending off economic competition from abroad. 

How is the surge of clean energy investment changing the American economy? What sectors and regions are benefitting the most? And what is still needed to get the U.S.on track to meet its climate goals?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Brian Deese about IRA implementation, green industrial strategy, and national security.

Brian was the director of the White House’s National Economic Council from 2021 to 2023. Prior to that, he served in the Office of Management and Budget and as a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, as well as global head of sustainable investing for BlackRock. Since leaving government, he has taken up a post as Institute Innovation Fellow at MIT, where he plays a key role in developing the Clean Investment Monitor.

Sep 12, 2023

Around the world, green industrial policy is driving a surge of new investment into clean energy. This is good news for the climate, but it puts the international trading system under intense strain. 

As countries around the world vie for influence over the growing market for clean energy, new fault lines are emerging and old rivalries are re-igniting. With energy security still top of mind, policymakers face the difficult task of balancing access to an open market against control over the energy supply chains of the future. The risks of failure are immense—a fractured global market could slow clean energy uptake, which is vital for solving the ever-worsening climate crisis. 

What risks do trade tensions pose for the energy transition? What are the major areas of dispute? And how can policymakers improve the global trading system to support rapid clean energy growth?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Maureen Hinman about the challenges facing global clean energy trade.

Maureen is the co-founder and executive chair of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a nonprofit organization that uses a venture capital approach to address policy challenges in cybersecurity, trade, geopolitics, and energy. 

Before founding Silverado, she served as director for Environment and Natural Resources at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where she led a range of trade policy initiatives focused on natural resource conservation. She has also served as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s senior industry trade specialist and as a consultant for Nathan Associates.

Sep 5, 2023

July was the hottest month ever recorded. 

Heat waves broke records around the world this summer. Phoenix, Arizona, endured 31 days of 110 degrees or hotter. Sanbao, a remote township in northwest China, hit 127 degrees – a record for the country. And parts of Europe reached over 100 degrees.

These temperatures can be deadly. They also wreak havoc on the built environment. As global temperatures creep higher from greenhouse gasses, heat waves will be hotter and more frequent. 

So, what exactly is a heat wave and how is it connected to climate change? How are scientists researching these extreme weather events? And what can policy makers do to help mitigate the impact on people and cities? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with author and journalist Jeff Goodell about his new book “The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet”.

Jeff has covered climate change for more than two decades. His book “The Heat Will Kill You First” examines the impact that rising temperatures will have on our planet. Jeff has also written books on rising seas, sinking cities, and the coal industry. He is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.

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