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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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Now displaying: June, 2023
Jun 27, 2023

The global energy transition is unfolding in an increasingly fragmented world. The rise of green industrial policies aimed at bolstering domestic clean energy industries is heightening trade tensions and threatening to fracture global markets. 

Meanwhile, power struggles are amping up on the world stage. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and simmering tensions between China and the West, have underscored the complexities of the post-Cold War global order.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of a rapidly escalating climate crisis that requires a concerted global effort to address. 

What do broad trends of deglobalization mean for the clean energy transition? What would a retreat from the norms of free trade mean for the pace of clean energy deployment? And how can policymakers reconcile domestic economic priorities with the urgency of the climate crisis?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Pascal Lamy about the role of international trade in meeting climate goals.

Pascal is the chair of the Climate Overshoot Commission, an organization created to address the consequences of current and past greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, he was president of the Paris Peace Forum, a French nonprofit that convenes leaders to pursue global cooperation and collective action. Prior to that, he served as the director-general of the World Trade Organization from 2005 to 2013. He has also served in a variety of roles at Crédit Lyonnais, the European Commission, and the French government.

Jun 20, 2023

Clean energy technology deployment will play a major role in meeting the Biden administration’s “net zero by 2050” goal. To stay on target, America will need to shore up clean energy supply chains, reduce the cost of existing technologies, and fund innovation for up and coming solutions – like carbon capture and storage and fusion energy

The Energy Team at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is a driving force behind these efforts. With its expertise in policy and science, the team helps develop innovation priorities that facilitate a swift, equitable energy transition. 

So what is the strategy for deploying the clean energy technology needed to meet net zero goals? What is the timeline for emerging technologies? And how does the OSTP’s Energy Team plan to make the transition equitable? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Sally Benson about the OSTP’s history as an innovation engine, and its current role in meeting net zero by 2050 goals.

Sally is the deputy director for energy and the chief strategist for the energy transition at OSTP. She helps oversee the Net Zero Game Changers Initiative, which funds innovation in clean energy technologies for building heating and cooling, aviation, nuclear fusion, and other areas. Sally joined the Biden administration as the Precourt Family Professor of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University. She has also held various positions at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Jun 13, 2023

The oil and gas industry is at a crossroads. With the impacts of climate change becoming more severe every year, it’s clear that fossil fuel consumption must decline to prevent global warming from crossing a dangerous threshold. 

Yet oil and gas companies posted record returns in 2022, driven by volatility in the global market. Many are making more investments in clean energy technologies, but it’s still a small share of their total capital expenditures. As the transition to clean energy gains momentum, these firms are balancing the requirements of the energy transition and the realities of today’s fossil fuel-dependent economy. 

How can oil and gas majors reduce emissions while continuing to meet the global demand for fossil fuels? What role do they have in a clean energy transition? And how do their leaders see their position in an increasingly fractious and volatile global energy system?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Patrick Pouyanné.  

Patrick is the Chairman and CEO of Total Energies, a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the world’s seven supermajors. He has served in this role since 2014. 

Since his appointment, Patrick has overseen a diversification of his company’s portfolio, signified by its name change from Total to Total Energies in 2021. He has continued to expand Total Energies’ oil and gas business, pursuing new projects in Qatar, Mozambique, Uganda, and elsewhere. In the process, Patrick has emerged as a highly influential– and sometimes controversial– voice in the industry. 

This episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange is a recording of a live, in-person conversation that took place on April 12th during the Columbia Global Energy Summit 2023.

Jun 6, 2023

Governments around the world are increasingly turning to “industrial policy” in pursuit of stronger climate action such as the Inflation Reduction Act. These targeted economic measures can build domestic clean energy industries and increase security and resilience. But there are risks to this approach, including higher costs and trade tensions. In the years ahead, policymakers will face a difficult balancing act as they work to expand the availability of low-cost clean energy while boosting their own domestic economies. 

What does the shift towards green industrial policy mean for the energy transition? How has this shift manifested in the Biden administration’s approach to climate action? And what new climate policies might be on the horizon?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Jason Furman about the rise of green industrial policy, the outlook for the Inflation Reduction Act, and how economists think about climate change.

Furman is the Aetna professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard University. He is a former colleague of Jason Bordoff in two different capacities, both in the Obama White House and at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. Prior to his appointment at Harvard, Furman served as a key economic advisor to President Obama, including as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. He played a key role in implementing the major economic policy initiatives of the Obama Administration, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act. 

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