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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: November, 2023
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.

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