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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: March, 2024
Mar 26, 2024

Methane leakage is one of many issues at the forefront today over how the oil and gas industry is engaging in the clean energy transition. Importantly, this industry includes not only some of the better-known energy companies, but also many national oil companies. Collectively they produce about half the world’s oil and gas.

During last year’s COP28, these companies committed to cutting methane emissions and working towards decarbonizing the industry. But the energy transition for these companies is a delicate balance, as they are responsible for generating revenue and ensuring energy security for their countries. 

So, how will global pledges to decarbonize impact the oil and gas industry? What is the role for cleaner fuels like hydrogen in meeting growing energy demand? How much progress is being made to curb methane emissions? And what is the role of national oil companies in the transition? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Mark Brownstein about the importance of reducing methane emissions and what the transition looks like for national oil companies. 

Mark is the senior vice president of energy transition at the Environmental Defense Fund. He has been with EDF for almost two decades, working to halt the rise of global oil and gas emissions and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. Before joining EDF, Mark worked for Public Service Enterprise Group, a large electric and gas utility holding company in the U.S. He has also taught energy policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

Mar 19, 2024

To limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, emissions should already be decreasing and need to be cut by almost half by 2030. Although this target is just six years away, fossil fuels experienced continued demand and revenue growth in 2023. 

At CERAWeek by S&P Global, one of the world’s largest annual energy conferences, the energy transition is at the forefront of conversations. But energy security and different pathways to net-zero goals is also the theme of the conference, and many companies are recommitting to their traditional oil and gas businesses even as they invest more in clean energy. 

How do we navigate the path to a clean energy future? What is the outlook for energy prices and markets? What impact will today’s geopolitical challenges have on the transition? And what effects will the many elections around the world have on the energy sector?

This week host Jason Bordoff is at CERAWeek talking with Javier Blas about the path to a clean energy future. 

Javier is an opinion columnist for Bloomberg covering energy and commodities. He was previously at the Financial Times, where he held various positions, including his roles as the Africa editor and the commodities editor. Javier is a coauthor of the book The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources released in 2021.

Mar 12, 2024

For more than a century, extractive industry and capitalism have dominated the developed world’s economies. Some of the biggest companies in the world produce and sell oil and gas, and those commodities have made countries and people very wealthy. But they’re also a major source of pollution and contributor to the climate crisis. In response, many of these companies have started investing in renewable energy, others have completely shifted their focus to clean solutions. 

Akshat Rathi’s new book Climate Capitalism delves into this shift and argues that saving the earth is economically more advantageous than destroying it. 

So, what is climate capitalism? How can this new approach facilitate climate innovation and economic growth? And what will it take to move away from traditional capitalism? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Akshat about his new book and how reforming the current economic system can address climate change and be profitable.

Akshat is a senior climate reporter for Bloomberg News. Prior to Bloomberg, he was a senior reporter at Quartz and a science editor at The Conversation. His new book, Climate Capitalism: Winning the Race to Zero Emissions and Solving the Crisis of our Age has been named one of the best books of the year by the The London Times and The Economic Times. 

Mar 8, 2024

Batteries are finding their way into everything – from cars to heavy equipment to the electric grid. But scaling up production to meet the demands of a net-zero economy is complicated and contentious. 

Season 4 of The Big Switch, a Columbia University podcast hosted by Dr. Melissa Lott, digs into the ways batteries are made and asks: what gets mined, traded, and consumed on the road to decarbonization?

This is part one of “The Great Battery Boom,” a five-part series on global battery supply chains. Find the rest of Season 4 of The Big Switch on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Mar 5, 2024

The success of the energy transition hinges on the availability of affordable capital to fund clean energy projects. The rise of green industrial policy in wealthy economies has mobilized public capital to fund clean energy projects, and attracted private capital through subsidies and tax incentives. 

But in emerging and developing economies, there are many more barriers to deploying capital for clean energy at the scale and speed needed. The International Monetary Fund projects that of the $5 trillion in annual investments needed globally by 2030 to meet the world’s net-zero emissions goals, $2 trillion will need to be made in emerging markets and developing economies.

So, what is the role of private capital in accelerating the clean energy transition in economies around the world? And how can private sector coalitions advance the energy transition amidst anti-ESG backlash and higher cost of capital? 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Nigel Topping about the pace of technological innovation to scale the energy transition, and the role of private capital in meeting global climate commitments.

Nigel is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and a global advisor to governments, financial institutions, and private companies on climate and industrial strategy. He served as the United Kingdom’s High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26. In this role, he mobilized the global private sector and local government to take action on climate change by launching the Race To Zero and Race To Resilience campaigns and, together with Mark Carney, launched the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. Nigel is also a non-executive director of the UK Infrastructure Bank and an honorary professor of economics at Exeter University.

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