NATO countries, including the US, are sending military equipment to Ukraine in preparation for the worst. But Germany is holding back. With gas prices at an all-time high, the future of Nord Stream 2 in limbo and the recent shutdown of nuclear plants: Can Europe be self-sufficient without Russian gas?
In this week’s episode, Jason Bordoff is joined by Stephen Lacey, host of The Carbon Copy podcast, to look at how we got here. Turns out a lot of it has to do with the geopolitics of the energy transition.
Together, they break down the tricky dynamics between Russia and the rest of Europe. Countries like Germany have invested vast amounts of money in renewables in the hopes of cutting dependence on imported fossil fuels, but how long will it take to get there?
Check out the Foreign Affairs article on this topic that Jason co-authored with policy expert Meghan O’Sullivan.
In February 2021, Winter Storm Uri pushed the Texas power grid to its limit, leading to widespread blackouts across the state. At its peak, the storm left 4.5 million homes and businesses without power, causing an estimated 250 deaths and $90 billion in damages.
As extreme weather worsens, experts worry that the current regulatory system is not enough to address the vulnerabilities in Texas’s electric system, making future outages more common and destructive.
This February, another devastating winter storm hit Texas. In this week's episode, host Bill Loveless sits down with Michael Webber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas, Austin and an expert on Texas’ unique grid, to discuss what has (or hasn’t) changed since Winter Storm Uri.
What has Texas taught us about building a reliable grid in the face of extreme weather?
Michael is also the chief technology officer of Energy Impact Partners, a $2 billion cleantech venture fund.
His book, Power Trip: the Story of Energy, was published in 2019 with an award-winning six-part companion series that aired on PBS and other networks.
Elevated ocean temperatures are rising sea levels, inundating coastlines, sinking island nations, bleaching coral, and creating more dangerous hurricanes. But oceans also act as a buffer against global warming.
Climate scientists are increasingly turning their attention to oceans. For a deep dive into the science shaping our understanding of the Earth’s watery depths, host Bill Loveless spoke with Peter de Menocal, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
Peter is a marine geologist and paleoclimatologist by training, and the founding director of Columbia University’s Center For Climate And Life – a research accelerator that supports and trains the next generation of Earth scientists.
They discussed how oceans are changing, the capacity of oceans to take up carbon and the need for policy-relevant research on the seas. They also talked about what led Peter to a career studying and exploring oceans.
The most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen seems – at least in theory – to be a good source of energy. But because of the high costs and other barriers associated with hydrogen power, the real story is more nuanced.
For a deep dive into how the world can harness the power of hydrogen and what role it will play in the geopolitics of the energy transition, host Bill Loveless spoke with Elizabeth Press.
She’s the Director of Planning and Programme Support at the International Renewable Energy Agency, which just published a new report mapping out the future of hydrogen.
The report, titled “Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation: The Hydrogen Factor,” digs into the evolution of hydrogen markets across the world, especially in developing countries.
Read the full report here.
How can the US and Canada cooperate to meet international and domestic climate targets?
To try and answer that question, host Jason Bordoff spoke with Catherine McKenna – the former Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and former Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
McKenna, who recently joined the Center on Global Energy Policy as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, was a lead negotiator of the Paris Agreement before introducing and successfully defending landmark legislation that established a carbon price across Canada.
In this conversation, the pair discuss Canada’s decarbonization strategy, misogyny in climate politics, building US-Canadian partnerships in tackling climate change, and her hopes for this new, exciting stage in her career.
Accelerating a global clean energy transition has never been more vital to curbing the worst impacts of climate change, but greenhouse gas emissions and the use of hydrocarbons continues to rise.
And even as several global fossil fuel giants announce clean energy initiatives, net zero timelines, and carbon capture projects, they continue to invest in oil and gas.
For a closer look at the role that legacy fossil fuel companies can and should play in the clean energy transition moving forward, Host Jason Bordoff spoke with Laszlo Varro — Vice President of Global Business Environment at Shell.
Before taking this position, he spent a decade at the IEA as Head of Gas, Coal and Electricity Markets and then as the organization’s Chief Economist.
They spoke about his take on the IEA’s outlook on the transition, natural gas as a bridge fuel and how traditional oil companies like Shell are responding to growing consumer demand for a clean transition.
The ongoing pandemic and a rocky White House transition overshadowed many other pressing events in the United States and abroad.
Nevertheless, the threats of a changing planet persisted.
2021 included a dire report from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, a new round of international climate negotiations and climate-fueled fires, floods and hurricanes.
Lisa is a Climate Desk Reporter with the New York Times, and Justin is a climate reporter with TIME magazine.
Given their areas of coverage, the conversation focused on the United States.
It seems that the coronavirus pandemic is here to stay as the newly-discovered Omicron variant of the virus spreads throughout the globe.
But climate change continues to be a threat too, as the impacts become more severe and the window for action narrows.
In this episode, Host Bill Loveless speaks with someone who has experience working on biological threats like pandemics as well as climate change.
Alice Hill is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations. She previously served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Resilience Policy on the National Security Council.
The pair discussed her newest book “The Fight For Climate After COVID-19,” a treasure trove of insights on how we can use what we’ve learned from tackling COVID to build a climate resilient future.
Hydropower is one of our oldest sources of renewable energy. In 2018, hydropower made up nearly 60% of Canada’s electricity generation. In provinces like Quebec and Manitoba, hydropower makes up well over 90% of the provincial electricity supply.
One Canadian power company is looking to expand and provide hydroelectricity to its neighbors down south.
In this episode, host Bill Loveless sits down with Sophie Brochu, the President and CEO of Hydro-Québec, a Canadian state-owned utility and the fourth-largest producer of hydropower in the world.
Brochu is currently leading new efforts to expand Hydro-Québec’s reach and bring low-carbon electricity to the United States through new transmission lines in the Northeast.
But, the company is facing pushback from local groups on how and where these new transmission lines should be built.
Bill spoke with Sophie about those criticisms, the future of fossil fuel companies, and her vision for distributing and generating clean electricity throughout North America.
It’s been a month since world climate leaders convened in Glasgow, Scotland for international climate talks.
The conference brought meaningful advances to halt deforestation, curb methane emissions, and deploy clean energy. It also kept the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C alive.
But closing the gap between ambition and reality will require herculean efforts from all countries, particularly western nations which are responsible for a majority of historical CO2 emissions.
To talk through the challenges that lie ahead, Host Jason Bordoff spoke with Laurence Tubiana.
Tubiana is the CEO of the European Climate Foundation. A key architect of the Paris Climate Accords, She has championed international climate diplomacy in her roles as France’s Climate Change Ambassador and as a Special Representative at COP21 in Paris.
In this interview, Tubiana offers an insider’s perspective on the outcomes at Glasgow, and what’s needed from governments and financial institutions over the coming years.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to shake up the global oil economy as fears surrounding the newly-discovered Omicron variant sparked a drop in prices last week.
This — combined with an ongoing energy crisis and a previous drop in prices during the first wave of the pandemic at the beginning of last year — has prompted a flurry of speculation from oil analysts about where the market is headed next.
For a read on the future of oil markets, Host Jason Bordoff spoke with three experts:
Amrita Sen, a Founding Partner and Chief Oil Analyst at Energy Aspects; Bob McNally, the President of the energy advising firm Rapidan Energy Group; and Arjun Murti, a Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm.
Their roundtable discussion touched on President Biden’s decision to release crude oil from the nation’s Strategic Oil Reserves, the upcoming OPEC+ meeting and what international leaders need to consider as the world transitions away from fossil fuels.
COP26 is behind us, but the work is just getting started.
The world leaders who convened in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiated an agreement with positive, meaningful steps toward global climate action. But many onlookers are calling for more ambitious timelines.
What comes next? For a deep dive into how the conference unfolded and what it means for the future of climate progress, Host Jason Bordoff spoke with economist Nat Keohane.
Dr. Keohane was recently named President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Before that, Nat was the Senior Vice President for Climate with the Environmental Defense Fund.
The pair spoke about the successes of the conference, including the final details of the so-called “Paris rulebook.” They also discussed the challenges that will carry over to next year’s conference and beyond.
Negotiators in Glasgow, Scotland have finally come to an agreement aimed at ramping up climate action.
At COP26, host Jason Bordoff and his colleagues at Columbia University helped organize a series of events which convened climate leaders from many regions and different parts of society. One of these events was a roundtable discussion with President Obama and youth climate activists.
In this episode, Jason speaks with Eduarda Zoghbi and Christian Vanizette, two passionate young climate leaders who were part of Columbia’s COP26 delegation.
Eduarda is a graduate student in public administration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Her area of concentration is energy and the environment. Eduarda is also a member of the Women in Energy Program at the Center on Global Energy Policy and is currently working to expand the program to young female leaders in Brazil.
Christian is the co-founder of Makesense, a french-based organization that is growing a global network of citizens and entrepreneurs committed to solving environmental and social problems. Christian was an Obama foundation scholar at Columbia University from 2019-2020.
They spoke with Jason about the need for urgency in addressing climate change, why intergenerational action of climate change matters and what progress looks like as we work toward global climate targets.
The COP26 UN climate negotiations are well underway in Glasgow, Scotland.
With that in mind, we wanted to rerun an episode we did a few years back with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe about how to understand and listen to each other when it comes to climate change.
Dr. Hayhoe is an expert climate scientist and communicator. She is currently the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy and is also a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Law in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University.
Dr. Hayhoe has precious insights into how we effectively shift public opinion on the side of climate science, especially among members of her own evangelical Christian religion.
Over the course of the conversation, she and Host Jason Bordoff discuss how she merges her faith and her scientific work to communicate the urgency of addressing climate change in an ever-polarized political landscape.
The COP26 UN climate conference has kicked off in Glasgow, Scotland amidst a flurry of important moments in climate-related current affairs—an energy crisis threatens global supply chains and the future of a reconciliation package in Congress could determine whether or not the U.S. will meet its climate targets.
Needless to say, it’s a big week for the climate.
Here to break down his vision for how nations can seize the opportunity at hand to make a meaningful impact on climate change, both domestically and on the world stage, is Manish Bapna.
Manish is the new President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the NRDC Action Fund. He has a long background trying to solve complex environmental problems at institutions like the World Resources Institute and the World Bank.
In this episode, Host Bill Loveless sits down with Manish to talk about how nations can go beyond pledges and commitments to make progress on decarbonization.
The Pentagon has released its most ambitious blueprint to date for how the Department of Defense—the largest government agency in the United States and the largest employer in the world— intends to prepare for the risks associated with the climate crisis.
The Climate Adaptation Plan, which describes climate change as a “destabilizing force” and a “national security risk,” offers a strategic roadmap for the U.S. military to adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis. These include geopolitical turmoil, threats to U.S. military infrastructure and the increased frequency of natural disasters at home and abroad.
In this episode, Host Bill Loveless speaks to one of the pentagon leaders behind the report— Richard Kidd.
Mr. Kidd is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment & Energy Resilience at the Department of Defense. There, he oversees efforts related to coastal resilience, pollution prevention, and compliance with environmental laws.
They discuss how to balance the energy needs of today with a forward-thinking approach to managing the climate risks that have already and will continue to affect U.S. military operations.
The clean energy transition will involve an unprecedented investment in zero and low-carbon technologies. This shift to a clean energy system will require what are known as critical minerals such as aluminum and copper used in photovoltaic solar panels, and lithium and cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries.
New surges in demand for these critical minerals has challenged the ability of global supply chains to keep pace with this demand. As more and more nations commit to ambitious net-zero targets, demand for these minerals will only go up.
In this episode, Host Bill Loveless interviews Frank Fannon, the Managing Director of Fannon Global Advisors, a firm focused on geopolitics, market transformation, and the global energy transition.
Mr. Fannon was formerly the First Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources in the U.S. State Department, where he advised the Secretary of State on a host of issues related to energy resources and national security.
Bill spoke with Mr. Fannon about the future of the critical minerals supply chain as well as some of the broader geopolitical trends in the clean energy landscape.This episode references a past live episode that Host Jason Bordoff conducted with Ford CEO Jim Farley and Mary Nichols, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and the former Chair of the California Air Resources Board.
Most of the pressure on oil companies to make more environmentally-conscious investments is targeted at companies like Shell and Exxon. But these companies produce only 15 percent of the world’s oil and gas supply.
The majority of oil production comes from nationally-owned oil companies, and the question of how they will respond to the clean energy transition is especially vital in Latin America where state-owned companies like PDVSA, PetroBras and Pemex dominate the region’s energy sector.
In this episode, Host Jason Bordoff speaks with a leading expert on oil markets and the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) agenda in Latin America -- Dr. Luisa Palacios. She has special insight into this topic as a former board chair of the oil refiner Citgo, an energy firm owned by the Venezuala-based nationalized oil company, PDVSA.
Dr. Palacios is currently a Senior Research Scholar at CGEP and received a Masters degree at Columbia University. Previously, she was Medley Global Advisor’s Head of Latin America. She also worked at Barclays Capital as a Director in emerging markets research.
Dr. Palacios spoke with Jason about where Venezuela and other Latin American oil majors are headed in a moment of big market shifts. They also took a broader look at the future of oil and ESG practices in the Latin American Region.
The Biden Administration recently released a blueprint for how the U.S. could get nearly half of its electricity from the sun by 2050 called, “The Solar Futures Study.” But reaching that 50% will require an expansive, multi-sector investment of money and resources toward the clean electricity source that meets only about 4% of the nation’s power demand now.
Host Bill Loveless dug into the hows of deploying solar widely and effectively with Mary Powell, the recently-appointed CEO of Sunrun, a leading residential solar company in the U.S.
Mary previously headed up the Vermont-based electric utility, Green Mountain Power.
While there, Mary was known for being a disruptor in the utility space in her embrace of clean energy reforms.
Bill and Mary spoke about the tricky nature of the residential solar market, how solar is figuring into congressional legislation and how electric utilities can work with the clean energy transition instead of fighting it.
The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and there is much excitement today about the road ahead for electric vehicles.
Many automakers have pledged to increase the share of their production by going all battery or fuel cell electric within a decade, but few of the new models meet current buyer preference for larger vehicles with increased utility. But the Ford Motor Company’s introduction of the F-150 Lightning, a battery electric version of the best-selling truck in the U.S. for the last 44 years, may signal a tipping point in building the future of zero emissions transportation.
This live episode of the podcast, moderated by Host Jason Bordoff, features two key figures in the clean transportation transition:
The first is Jim Farley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford, a role he took on just about a year ago. He also serves as a member of the company’s Board of Directors and was previously Chief Operating Officer.
Also in the conversation is Mary Nichols, a long-time environmental champion and Chair of the California Air Resources Board. She’s now a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy.
Jim and Mary discuss the significant changes taking place in the industry’s plans and strategies to achieve carbon neutrality and the role of regulation, policy and investments in building demand for battery electric vehicles.
The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its University partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running Sept. 20-26, Climate Week NYC convened key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference this fall in Glasgow.
Currently, high gas prices are rippling throughout much of Europe and Asia. The spike has driven up the price of coal too and sent electricity prices for businesses and homeowners to record highs.
Governments are meeting with stakeholders and developing emergency plans. But as winter approaches, they’re in a time crunch to find a fix as large parts of Asia and Europe risk severe coal and gas shortages if the price surge continues.
In this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff speaks with energy experts Anne-Sophie Corbeau and Dr. Tatiana Mitrova, who break down the latest on the crisis.
Anne-Sophie Corbeau is currently a global research scholar at CGEP and was previously the head of gas analysis at BP and a senior gas analyst at the International Energy Agency.
Tatiana Mitrova is a CGEP non-resident fellow and research director of the SKOLKOVO Energy Centre in Moscow. She is also a member of Schlumberger's Board of Directors, and NOVATEK’s Board of Directors.
The world’s biggest carbon capture and storage machine launched last week in Iceland. It’s called Orca. According to Swiss startup Climeworks, the company which built the plant, it will capture 4,000 metric tons of CO2 per year and bury it underground.
The launch event for this new project was attended by the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Dr. Julio Friedmann. Host Bill Loveless snagged him for an interview to discuss what he saw there.
Julio is a Senior Research Scholar at CGEP and one of the most well-known experts on carbon capture, removal and storage. He is also a distinguished associate at the Energy Futures Initiative.
He gave his take on what the Orca plant foretells about this technology, the potential drawbacks, areas of concern, and why he believes that carbon capture technologies are integral to addressing climate change.
Mexico’s last President, Enrique Peña Nieto, put the country through a series of energy reforms that effectively opened up the Mexican energy market to private and foreign investment for the first time in 75 years.
But the current Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to restore some of the power the state had before those reforms.
The question now is whether the state will succeed in regaining a dominant position in Mexico’s energy sector once again, or whether international markets continue to play a relevant role.
For a conversation on the future of Mexico’s energy markets, Host Jason Bordoff Spoke with former Mexican Deputy Secretary for Planning and Energy Transition, Leonardo Beltrán Rodríguez.
Beltrán is a member of the Boards of Sustainable Energy for All, Fundacion Por México and the World Economic Forum’s Project in Partnership to Accelerate Sustainable Energy Innovation. He’s also a visiting fellow with the Columbia University Center On Global Energy Policy.
This episode originally aired on August 6th, 2020.
Young people around the world are speaking out increasingly about the dangers of climate change and taking actions to reduce the risks of global warming in their lifetimes.
Host Bill Loveless interviewed Akshat Rathi, the editor of "United We Are Unstoppable," a collection of essays by 60 young people about their determination to save the world from climate change.The book is a stirring collection of stories about the impacts of climate change that are already taking place or are likely to do so in the future.
Bill and Akshat discuss the message and significance of these essays in a time when the risks of a warming planet loom large, especially for generations that will live through it this century.
Akshat writes for Bloomberg about people and their ideas for tackling climate change. Previously, he was a senior reporter at Quartz and a science editor at The Conversation. He has also worked for The Economist and the Royal Society of Chemistry.Akshat has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford and a degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai.
He was a 2018 participant in the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative, a program at the Center on Global Energy Policy that helps energy journalists deepen their understanding of complex topics associated with energy and environmental issues.
This episode originally aired on October 20th, 2020.
From California wildfires and Gulf Coast hurricanes to flooding in China and Pakistan, the impacts of climate change have grown increasingly evident. And whether it is agricultural workers, low-income and minority communities, or the world’s poorest in the Global South, the severe inequities in who bears the burden of climate change as well as in air and water pollution is also receiving growing recognition.
In this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by one of the leading reporters today writing about the links between a warming planet and such issues as race, conflict, natural disasters, and big tech: Somini Sengupta.
Somini is the international climate reporter for The New York Times. A George Polk Award-winning foreign correspondent, she previously worked in other capacities at The New York Times as its United Nations correspondent, West Africa Bureau Chief, and South Asia Bureau Chief.
She spoke about the critical role journalists play in telling the stories that help illuminate how climate change affects families and workers around the world.