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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: May, 2023
May 30, 2023

2022 was a landmark year for the energy transition. The world added a record amount of renewable energy, expanding the global installed capacity by nearly 10%. Electric vehicles also had a record year, reaching 10 million sales worldwide, a stunning 55% increase over the previous year. Yet despite this tremendous progress, the world is still not on track to meet its climate goals, with oil and gas demand predicted to be higher in 2030 than today.

Meanwhile, volatility in global energy markets is continuing to drive uncertainty over the future of the energy transition. Imbalances between supply and demand drove energy prices to dizzying heights last year, and 75 million people around the world lost access to electricity as a result.

What will it take to bring clean energy deployment in line with climate goals? What does the energy transition mean for the future of fossil fuels? And how can world leaders protect energy reliability in the transition to net zero?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Fatih Birol. 

Fatih is the executive director of the International Energy Agency, the intergovernmental organization tasked with providing data and policy analysis regarding the global energy sector. He spent more than 20 years at the IEA prior to becoming executive director. Most recently, he served as chief economist, in charge of the organization’s flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. Before joining the IEA, Fatih worked for OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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. 

May 23, 2023

As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the UK has long played a special role in the evolution of today’s modern energy system. But current sky-high energy prices are contributing to a modern-day “cost-of-living crisis” for British households–leading the government to spend tens of billions of pounds to protect consumers.

At the same time, climate change remains a key policy concern. While the UK has implemented meaningful climate policies and made progress in reducing emissions, the UK is not yet on track to meet its target of net-zero by 2050. 

How can the UK’s government make progress on climate against the backdrop of an energy affordability crisis? What is the role of industrial policy? And what lessons are policymakers taking away from other countries facing similar challenges?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Ed Miliband about the UK’s cost-of-living crisis, the role for oil and gas companies, and the country’s net-zero strategy.

Ed is the United Kingdom’s shadow secretary of state of Climate Change and Net Zero, as well as a member of Parliament representing Doncaster North. He was the leader of the Labour Party from 2010 to 2015 and, before that, the secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change, where he oversaw the introduction of the Climate Change Act. Outside of his work in Parliament, Ed is the co-host of the current affairs podcast “Reasons to be Cheerful.”

 

May 16, 2023

If 2022 were an earthquake for the global energy system, Europe was the epicenter. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine  – on top of a persistent mismatch in supply and demand – sent energy prices skyrocketing. Consumers across the continent struggled to pay their bills. In the year that followed, European governments spent more than €800 billion shielding consumers from these high prices, even as they scrambled to find alternatives to Russian energy.

Prices have now returned to their pre-invasion baseline, but the continent’s energy system remains precarious. Emergency measures must now give way to a longer-term strategy to secure Europe’s energy system, reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and scale clean energy technology. 

What’s the outlook for European energy security? How can Europe meet its ambitious clean energy targets? And what technologies are needed to make this possible?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Ann Mettler about Europe’s response to the energy crisis, its plans for decarbonizing its energy system, and the outlook for energy security.

Ann is the vice president for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, a network of investment funds, philanthropies, and nonprofits dedicated to scaling low-carbon technologies. She previously served as director-general at the European Commission, where she ran an in-house think tank called the European Political Strategy Centre. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Lisbon Council, an economic policy think tank she founded in 2003.

May 9, 2023

Last month, India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous country. With its large population, growing workforce, and fast-growing GDP, India is on the cusp of asserting major economic power on the world stage. 

But there are major energy-related challenges still to overcome. Persistent electricity shortages continue to weigh on the country’s manufacturing sector. And despite tremendous growth in renewables, India still relies heavily on coal and imported oil. 

India’s government has made addressing these challenges a priority, seeking to nearly triple its clean energy capacity by 2030. It is also investing heavily in new technologies like battery storage and hydrogen. At the same time, it continues to expand its fossil fuel sector, which it sees as vital to the country’s economic growth. 

What does the next decade have in store for India’s energy sector? What are the major obstacles to growth? And how is the government balancing its climate goals with meeting the country’s rapidly expanding energy demands?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with Suman Bery about the uncertainties facing India’s energy sector, from supply shortages to geopolitical risks. 

Suman is the vice chairperson of NITI Aayog, an Indian think tank. He conducts research and advises policymakers on matters of economics and public policy. Prior to his appointment, he was a senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, and a global fellow in the Asia Programme of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. He was also the chief economist at Shell from 2012 to 2016.

May 2, 2023

The energy transition is going to require a lot of investment. In fact, the International Energy Agency estimates that getting on the path to net zero by 2050 will require over $4 trillion of annual clean energy investment by the end of the decade. That’s more than triple what is spent today, and reaching that level will involve both public and private spending.

A smooth transition involves more than just spending on clean energy. In the wake of last year’s energy shortages, many countries are clamoring for more investment in oil and gas supply. At the same time, the volatile geopolitics of energy – and the tricky domestic politics of climate action – make today an especially challenging moment for those investing in the energy system. 

How are investors and asset managers navigating the rapidly-changing outlook for the energy sector? What economic headwinds are they facing in the first half of 2023? And how can they balance the need for investing in today’s energy system along with tomorrow’s clean energy economy?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with Larry Fink about financing the energy transition.  

Larry is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager. Larry founded the company in 1988, and the value of its assets reached a total of $10 trillion in 2022. In addition to his leadership at BlackRock, Larry serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum. 

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.

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