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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: February, 2024
Feb 27, 2024

In a new partnership with Google, the Environmental Defense Fund has developed a satellite that will orbit the Earth fifteen times a day and monitor methane emissions. The satellite, called MethaneSAT, will provide specific data on which parts of oil and gas infrastructure are the biggest methane emitters. Using artificial intelligence, MethaneSAT will overlay emissions data on oil and gas infrastructure maps to pinpoint the components that are responsible for methane leaks. 

So, what are the implications of this new methane detection technology? And can it be expanded to detect other greenhouse gasses?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with EDF’s Steve Hamburg about the capabilities of MethaneSAT, and how they differ from other satellites that detect methane.

Steve is the chief scientist and a senior vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund. He leads the organization’s work to quantify methane emissions and understand the impacts on air pollution and human health. Before joining EDF in 2008, he was an environmental science professor at University of Kansas and Brown University, where he was the founding director of the Global Environment Program. He has also served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was acknowledged as one of the contributing recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Feb 20, 2024

Brazil is in a strategic position when it comes to energy and climate issues. It holds the presidency of the G20 nations this year and the UN climate talks – or COP30 – in 2025.

This comes as the nation sees a significant reduction in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and new commitments to pursue low-carbon technologies, such as hydrogen, and establish a regulated carbon market. At the same time, Brazil, the biggest producer of oil in Latin America, is planning to ramp up its output.

So, how is the energy transition unfolding in Brazil? And how can the country balance environmental protection and energy security? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Thiago Barral about how Brazil plans to build up clean energy technologies, and how geopolitics shapes that strategy.

Thiago is the national secretary of planning and energy transition of the Ministry of Mines and Energy for Brazil. Before his role as secretary, Thiago was the president of the Energy Research Company, a Brazilian institution responsible for energy planning studies and official state energy statistics. He joined the Energy Research Company in 2007, and also served as director of energy economics and environmental studies.

Feb 13, 2024

Against the backdrop of climate change, a global debt crisis is raising concerns about the cost of the energy transition. Countries in the Global South — which are trying to balance economic development and climate adaptation — are calling for reforms to the global financial system to get more access to cheaper capital.

 

The World Bank, which provides loans and grants to emerging and developing economies, is a major financier of international development. Last year, it delivered $38.6 billion in climate finance. But because of its significant capacity, the organization is often scrutinized for how it manages and allocates funds.

So, how can the global financial system better support emerging and developing economies amid a changing climate? And how is the World Bank under a new president, Ajay Banga, working to meet these challenges? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Axel van Trotsenburg about the World Bank’s climate agenda. 

Axel is the World Bank’s senior managing director, responsible for development policies and partnerships. As such, he is the second in command at the bank. He directs the organization’s core work on sustainable development, with a focus on climate change, fragility, human capital, and sustainable debt. Axel has been with the World Bank for more than 30 years, having also held various senior positions there.

Feb 6, 2024

For more than three decades, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has prepared comprehensive scientific assessments about the drivers and risks of climate change. The assessments, released every five to seven years, also explain how mitigation and adaptation could reduce those risks. 

To confront the growing urgency of the climate crisis, governments around the world turn to the IPCC for guidance on emissions reductions strategies. That said, the organization makes clear that its research is not meant to be prescriptive. 

So, how do its findings support climate policy and action around the world? And what role does science play in shaping global climate negotiations? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with IPCC’s Jim Skea about how the organization’s research contributes to public policy. 

Jim is the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Before his election as chair in July 2023, he was the co-chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, which focuses on climate change mitigation. Jim also served as the chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission from 2018 to 2023 and was a founding member of the United Kingdom’s Committee on Climate Change.

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