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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: April, 2024
Apr 30, 2024

Across the U.S., large scale renewable energy projects, transmission lines, and mining sites for critical minerals are built on or near tribal lands. For example, the federal government plans to loan billions of dollars to Lithium Americas to develop a lithium mine in Nevada at a location known as Thacker Pass, sacred to local Paiute and Shoshone people. 

With the tumultuous history of energy development on indigenous lands, many tribes are pushing back on citing new infrastructure on their land.

So, how is the energy transition impacting Native American communities? And what are advocacy groups and the federal government doing to protect indigenous rights and lands?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Kate Finn about the contentious history of energy projects on Native American lands, how that history influences energy development today, and how her organization is working to ensure Native Americans have a seat at the table in determining how best to use indigenous lands. 

Kate is the executive director of First Peoples Worldwide, an organization focused on upholding the rights, sovereignty, and economic power of Indigenous People around the world. She was the inaugural American Indian Law Program Fellow at the University of Colorado Law, where she worked directly with tribes and Native communities. Her recent work focuses on the impacts of development in Indigenous communities, and embedding respect for Indigenous peoples into routine business operations.

Apr 23, 2024

Geopolitics looms large over the global economy. A recent client survey by Goldman Sachs found geopolitics is the top investment risk of this year, overtaking inflation and the upcoming U.S. presidential election. 

The market impacts by the wars in Europe and the Middle East, and the rising tension between China and Taiwan, are hard to predict. And the rise of protectionism, economic fragmentation, and industrial policy are inflaming tensions in a new era of great power competition. 

So, how should we understand this shifting world order? What is coming next in the Middle East following Iran’s attack on Israel? And how do energy and climate change impact national security? 

This week’s episode features a fireside chat between Jason Bordoff and Tom Donilon from the Columbia Global Energy Summit 2024, which was hosted by the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia SIPA last week at Columbia University in New York. 

Tom is chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute. From 2010 to 2013, he served as national security advisor to President Barack Obama. He has worked closely with and advised three U.S. presidents since his first position at the White House in 1977, working with President Carter. He later served in senior roles in the Pentagon and the State Department.

Apr 16, 2024

Cleaner alternatives to the oil and gas that power vital industries are necessary for economy-wide decarbonization. E-fuels, or electrofuels, are touted as a carbon neutral solution for the hard-to-decarbonize sectors that rely on energy dense fossil fuels. 

E-fuels are made by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide. Through the electrolysis process, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen is then combined with CO2 through a process called synthesis. The outcome is an energy-dense liquid, synthetic fuel. 

But currently, the e-fuels production process makes these alternatives more expensive than fossil fuels. And when burned, they release CO2, making critics question the claims of climate neutrality. 

So, what is the climate impact of e-fuels? What industries are turning to these alternatives for decarbonization? And how can policy and tax incentives make them cost competitive with conventional oil and gas? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Meg Gentle about the use of e-fuels for transport. 

Meg is the executive director of HIF Global, an e-fuel company developing some of the largest projects around the world. Before joining HIF, Meg served as the director of Ovintiv, an independent petroleum company, and as the president and CEO of the natural gas company Tellurian. She also spent ten years working for Cheniere Energy, helping grow their LNG marketing and trading company into a world-wide business.

 

Apr 9, 2024

From methane monitoring to integrating more renewables into the power mix, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the energy transition. It can be used to reduce emissions from food systems, and hard-to-abate sectors, like steel and cement manufacturing. 

But the amount of energy AI will require is generating interest, uncertainty and concern. And this is in addition to the need for more electricity to help decarbonize multiple sectors.

So what are the high potential opportunities for using AI to combat climate change and what are the risks? How will AI exacerbate existing stress on the power sector? And what are some of the opportunities to lower costs and increase efficiencies?  

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with two of the authors of the “Roadmap on Artificial Intelligence for Climate Change Mitigation,” David Sandalow and Alp Kucukelbir.

David Sandalow is the inaugural fellow at the  Center on Global Energy Policy. Previously, David served at the U.S. Department of Energy and was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has served as assistant secretary of state for oceans, environment, and science, and as a senior director on the National Security Council staff. 

Alp Kucukelbir is the co-founder and chief scientist  at Fero Labs. He is an adjunct professor of computer science at Columbia University and leads the entrepreneurship efforts at Climate Change AI.

Apr 2, 2024

On March 6, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted new rules to standardize climate-related disclosures for public business and public offerings. Hoping to provide investors with consistent and comparable information, the Commission’s new rules require companies to disclose emissions and the expenses and losses associated with climate risks in annual filings and reports. 

But critics immediately balked at the rules, questioning its legality and effectiveness. 

So, how does the SEC define climate-related risks? How do their disclosure requirements compare to similar rules passed in the EU and California? And what are the critics saying? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Shiva Rajgopal about the SEC’s climate disclosure ruling and his Forbes’ column on the topic, “The SEC’s New Climate Rule Is A Reasonable Political Compromise In An Election Year”.  

Shiva is the Kester and Byrnes Professor of Accounting and Auditing at Columbia Business School. His research interests span financial reporting, earnings quality, fraud, executive compensation and corporate culture. From 2017-2019, Shiva served as the vice dean of research for Columbia Business School and has been a faculty member at Duke University, Emory University, and the University of Washington.

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