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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: September, 2023
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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