Bill Loveless [00:00:05] 2022 was one of the most tumultuous years for global energy markets in decades. War, fossil fuel shortages, extreme price spikes, supply chain disruptions and clean energy. It also brought transformative changes in historic U.S. climate bill, a first of its kind loss and damage agreement at COP 27 record electric car sales. We’ve covered all these stories in great detail on this show. This week, we’re parsing them out and taking a look at how they will play out next year. Will we finally see supply chains return to normal after the COVID chaos? How volatile will fossil fuel prices remain and what kind of technological breakthroughs can we expect in clean energy? This is Columbia Energy Exchange, the weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. I’m Bill Loveless. Today, a 2022 wrap up. Joining me to break down the most important energy events of the year, our co-host Jason Bordoff, and our colleagues at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Melissa Lott and Maurico Cardenas. Jason is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy and co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School. His expertise in energy and climate policy show through in his work at the center and in the interviews he conducts here on this show. Before joining Columbia, Jason served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and as senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. Melissa is the director of research at the Center on Global Energy Policy. She co-leads the power sector and the Renewable Research Initiative and serves as the acting director of the Carbon Tech Development Initiative. Melissa is internationally recognized for her work in the electricity and transportation sectors. She’s held positions at the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Center, the International Energy Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy. And I might add, she’s the host of another popular podcast at the Center on Global Energy Policy called The Big Switch. Mauricio is a professor of professional practice and global leadership at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and director of the school’s Master of Public Administration and Global Leadership. He is also a senior research fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, but also as an expert on Latin America and on energy and climate policy. He has served as energy minister and finance minister back home in Colombia. I spoke with my colleagues about what happened this year at the intersection of energy policy and geopolitics. We discussed Europe’s energy challenges, global climate and energy policies, including the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and the trajectory for fossil fuel and renewables in the years ahead. Please enjoy our conversation. Jason. Melissa. Mauricio. This is a rare opportunity for us to talk on the air together and to do it over the tumultuous year that we’ve all experienced in 2022. And Jason, I get to question you this time around.
Jason Bordoff [00:03:26] Yes, This is very scary. You think you did that once before when you were on television with Platts Energy Week and now it’s a podcast here at the Energy Center for, what, six, seven years running?
Bill Loveless [00:03:36] That’s right. That’s right. And we had a good conversation then and we’ve had many since then. So I look forward to this conversation that all of us will have here today. Well, you know, no event stands out more in 2022 than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with all of its horrors, especially for the Ukrainian people. And when it comes to energy and climate change, it was a pivotal year, too, to a large extent because of that war. Jason, broadly speaking, how do you put into words what we’ve seen in 2020, too.
Jason Bordoff [00:04:08] Hard to put into words because it was a pretty historic year in many respects. Let me mention maybe three. I think 2022 was a year in which the world was awoken from a collective complacency about energy security. Much of the world maybe not enough, but much of the world has been concerned about climate for many years. But we started to take energy security and affordability for granted in many, not all parts of the world. And I think people are remembering that energy security remains a risk, a risk exposed to issues of geopolitics, as well as a potentially disorderly transition that I’ve been writing about. And this year, the world is struggling with both an energy crisis and a climate crisis and not doing particularly well and either, unfortunately, area of focus in 2022, also something I’ve done some writing about is a gap that existed between ambition and reality in the energy transition that was growing and not shrinking. And I was on the ground in Egypt at the U.N. climate meetings, and a major focus there was on implementation. It’s good to have goals and targets and ambition, but we have to actually start to see them implemented and see emissions go down, not up year after year. So I think there was a much greater focus on actually turning those pledges into real action. And then a third major trend, and my friend and coauthor, Megan O’Sullivan wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs over the summer about this was a much greater role for government in the energy sector. Part of that is the need for government policy to make bigger climate progress and certainly the Inflation Reduction Act as a historic policy development here in the United States. But we’re seeing European governments capping and subsidizing energy prices nearly €1,000,000,000,000 now. You’re seeing governments intervene in energy markets, the price cap on Russian oil. We might talk about a range of things to try to impact energy markets, keep energy prices affordable, think differently about security of supply chains and globalization, and try to direct where you want to source your energy from. That, I think, is going to be a long lasting trend of this current energy crisis.
Bill Loveless [00:06:21] You know, Melissa, when you look back in the year, what what stands out in your mind?
Melissa Lott [00:06:27] I mean, certainly what Jason was just talking about when Russia invaded Ukraine. That changed a lot of things, but it also just brought our attention to a number of things that we knew were tensions in the system that were exacerbated by that that issue and that event overall. We’ve talked about it often as a group has a team here at the Center on Global Energy Policy. We had these four crises that we were dealing with throughout the year. So it was the humanitarian crisis associated with what was going on in Ukraine. It was the energy crisis, it was the ongoing climate crisis and also a food crisis that raised its head during this year. And those four things as we went into Sharm el-Sheikh really shaped a lot of the conversation. I know they shaped a lot of the work that I do with the United Nations as part of this council and the engineers for the energy transition. You know, how do we have a secure energy future? How do we think about globalized supply chains, globalization, where we’re getting our energy sources from? And what does that mean for the future of policy as we try to bring down emissions? And these are questions that we’ve needed to lean into this year. Just highlighted how we need to do that now.
Bill Loveless [00:07:33] Yeah, Mauricio.
Mauricio Cardenas [00:07:34] Well, this was a very special year. I guess we were just coming out of the pandemic. The hopes were that this was going to be a recovery, that things were going to go back to normal. And suddenly we realized that the world has many risks, that the world is very interconnected, that energy is back at the center stage, that they never left that role and that the invasion of Ukraine had repercussions everywhere, and that countries that it did not have anything to do with that conflict directly were impacted contract countries as remote as Bangladesh or Pakistan, not to mention the countries of Latin America, and that many times the channels were not evident channels that had to do, for example, with fertilizers and food production, hunger or people being unable to pay the electricity bills. So I think it was basically the realization that the world is interdependent, it’s interconnected, and that there are many risks that we need to assess, to understand and we need to to cope with.
Bill Loveless [00:09:04] Yeah, you know, I’m recalling a year or so ago, I think one of the first shows I did for the Columbia Energy Exchange at the at the start of the year was one I did with Alice Hill of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former assistant to President Obama. And we were there to talk about a new book she had written called The The Fight for Climate After COVID 19. You know, with the Ukraine war still a couple of months away, then the impacts of the pandemic on energy demand and emissions were still very much in the forefront of our minds. You know, Mauricio, you brought up COVID. I mean, is that no longer the case?
Mauricio Cardenas [00:09:42] Interestingly enough, we are dealing with this multiple crises. As you know, we come to an end in 2022 and COVID is still there. And the big question for 2023 is, is China. It’s going to lift its zero-covid policies and that will be a factor of recovery for the world economy. And that could improve a little bit the economic growth projection. So COVID is still there. So it’s these multiple concurrent, interdependent, overlapping crises that I think is the new normal. And this is this is very interesting and is particularly interesting for a center like ours, because not only are we we basically are trained to understand, assess, produce recommendations to deal with these multiple crises. But I also think that the analysis coming out of a of centers like ours are becoming more and more important.
Bill Loveless [00:10:51] Yeah. Melissa, you’ve worked on health issues for Lancet and throughout the year, these health issues, as you touched on a minute ago, are still very much ones that we consider as we look forward to what might be issues coming up, what are things we need to be keeping in mind on even amid a war and not these other things.
Melissa Lott [00:11:11] When it comes to the health issues that we all aware of when it comes to climate change, they’re being exacerbated. We can follow floods in certain parts of the world that happen this year. Heat waves. We’re coming into the winter in the northern hemisphere. We’re going to have to see how that goes. But we’re seeing the health impacts of this in a very real way. And I do know that when we were in. The court process in Sharm el-Sheikh. Those health issues were really coming up in a number of different interesting ways. We’ve got the loss and damages discussion that was in all the headlines about what are we going to do about countries that are feeling these impacts? How are we going to make them whole support them in such a way that they can move forward to continue to develop? But also it came up in the idea of development, period, for the hundreds of millions of people who still don’t have access to electricity. Even those who have access don’t have access to the amount of electricity and clean energy that they want, any type of energy resource, really. And then also, what are we doing for even in the richest of countries, even here in the United States, to respond to this growing health crisis that we’re seeing as the climate continues to change when we have situations where people cannot work outside? Where people cannot do their jobs. Where people are struggling to breathe as they try to do their jobs in their homes and offices because of wildfire risks increasing. We see what’s happened up in the Pacific Northwest and across the border, our neighbors in Canada. I mean, health was through all of these conversations throughout the year, including as it relates to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Bill Loveless [00:12:43] Yeah, And I think health is often an issue. It’s certainly a prominent one, but one that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention in these discussions on on climate change. Jason, you mentioned work that you’ve done throughout the year with Meghan O’Sullivan of the Harvard Kennedy School. The two of you have talked a lot this year about this year’s energy crisis. In fact, in a Foreign Affairs article in June one, you referred to earlier, you called it, quote, the world’s first energy crisis. Know in the minds of some, the the 1970s amid the Arab oil embargo marked the world’s first energy crisis. What’s the distinction?
Jason Bordoff [00:13:24] I think it was the point we were making was really what Mauricio was saying a moment ago. We are in a much more interconnected, globally integrated energy market today than existed in the 1970s. That was an embargo that was directed from a handful of oil producing countries in the Middle East toward a handful of countries, notably the U.S.. This is a global energy crisis. It cuts across most energy sources and other commodities, and it’s impacting many parts of the region. And I think Mauricio explained why earlier. You have a disruption to natural gas supply to Europe, which is causing massive economic dislocations there. And so Europe, which can afford to do so other parts of the world, can’t it, Because the market is different today than a half century ago. Markets do what markets do. There are a lot of benefits to that. But when you have a disruption somewhere, we have a global oil market. We have not quite a globally integrated gas market, but more of one than existed before because you can move gas now by ship and in liquefied form, not just by pipeline. So the price of LNG of liquefied natural gas shoots up in response to those higher prices. Europe cargoes go to Europe that may have otherwise gone to Asia. Asia needs to buy some other fuel sources instead. And so coal prices are at record level, record levels. And and then other parts of the world are priced out of the market. And then, as you said, you see rolling blackouts and energy shortages in parts of the world like Pakistan, Bangladesh, parts of the world that struggle even before a crisis to provide affordable and reliable energy supplies to people. So and then and then other ways. I think he mentioned as well that, you know, very high natural gas prices has caused Europe to significantly reduce its production of fertilizer. That’s going to have impact on food and agriculture yields around the world. And this is not a one off, right? This is not just one winter, and then everything will go back to normal, if anything, because Russian gas supplies were continuing to flow to Europe, albeit in declining volumes for much of 2020 to Europe was able to get in a position to weather cold weather this coming winter. We’ll see exactly how cold it gets. But next winter may be harder and it’s going to take several. There’s going to we are in a multi-year energy crisis that we’re going to have to make sure we we can get through. And there’s only so long governments can subsidize, you know, the amount of money that some European governments have been able to put in to keep energy prices affordable for people. And we haven’t even touched oil yet. Russian oil production and exports is higher than it was before Russia invaded Ukraine. Europe, just about a week ago put in place an embargo on Russian crude. There’s this idea of a price cap that we can talk a little more about if you want to, in February of next year. Europe’s ban on diesel exports or refined product exports from Russia will go into effect, and that could be even more disruptive than on crude. So this is going to play out for for many years to come. And sadly, it doesn’t look like the unjustified invasion and aggression in Ukraine is going to end anytime soon.
Melissa Lott [00:16:28] And just a quick point there, Bel. I just mentioned affordability and then also how this is a broader energy crisis. Yes, it’s hitting all the energy commodities. It’s also hitting the supply chains that fuel and and are behind all of our energy resources that I know at the center of Global Energy policy. We wrote that report earlier in the year by Matt Bowen and Paul Debar talking about how this affects nuclear across the board, from fuel to equipment to workers, etc.. So really important point to highlight. But I also want to go on to this affordability point. I know that as we go into the winter, we’re seeing snow on the ground in the UK. We’re looking at that study that came out of believe it was University of Leeds talking about the fuel poverty and energy poverty rates they expect to see in January when the next price increases hit. And what they’re talking about is 80 plus percent of pensioners of retired folks actually being in energy poverty. And 95, I believe, is the number 95%. Of single parent households with young kids being in energy poverty come this time, I guess next month and a few weeks. And the stories that we’re hearing about struggling to pay our bills in those and in countries across Europe, but in other parts of the world as well that are experiencing these heightened energy prices are really real and concerning. And it highlights again how when we’re in the middle of this crisis, we don’t have a ton of levers we can pull. How do we have people stay safe in their homes but also not end up in a place where they can’t pay their bills? There’s not just there’s not that many things we can do right now is the question is what are we going to do in the short term? Sure. But what policies are we going to put in place as we move into the future to avoid something like this happening down the road? Yeah.
Bill Loveless [00:18:06] And to some extent we’re relying on unlucky, aren’t we, Mauricio? I mean, I was reading just today a report in Reuters that the headline was Europe should thank Mild Autumn for averting gas crisis this winter. And it said, you know, Northwest Europe’s gas consumption assumption fell sharply in October, November, but primarily the result of a milder than normal temperatures rather than high prices and other factors.
Mauricio Cardenas [00:18:29] So if I could just echo something that Melissa said, maybe I put it in different words, but up to a year ago, we were thinking in terms of energy security, energy, justice and energy transition as three distinct concepts. Now they seem to be just one concept. If countries want to have real energy security, they need to diversify their energy resources. They need to transition into renewables, and they need to make sure that energy is affordable. So to me, this kind of idea that we’re going to treat these three concepts separately just became clear this year. They’re are just one one aspect, which is how the world is going to deal with energy going into the future.
Bill Loveless [00:19:19] Jason I found interesting an interview you did with Frans Timmermans this fall, a talk that was called Staying the Course in a World of Turmoil. And Timmermans, of course, is the executive vice president of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commission for Climate Action. He offered some interesting insight.
Jason Bordoff [00:19:41] He did. I mean, he has made a point of visiting Colombia often, and it’s always great to host Frans Timmermans here because of the important role he plays in climate leadership in Europe. And he’s also a fellow Springsteen fan. So we’ve bonded over that. I’ve told him the next time he comes to New York, he needs to come down to the to the Jersey Shore with me. He may he made several points about I mean, you know, something everyone has been wondering. You sort of can’t have a conversation about energy and climate in 2022 or do public speaking on it as as several of us do, without being asked whether this transition is going to accelerate or decelerate the energy transition. And I think he had, you know, really good insights on that. And I agree with him that even though we are seeing people fire up a coal plant here or use diesel here instead of gas and heavy industry, this is giving a really massive push. And that’s a message that’s come out of the IEA as well, to recognize that decarbonization of the economy involves a lot more electrification of the economy, maybe not entire electrification, and an electrified economy that’s more heavily dependent on sources of energy like renewables has some of its own risks. We should we should be clear, but on the whole is probably going to be less exposed to broader geopolitical risks and will have many energy security benefits. So many of the things you would do to enhance energy security can also help move you in a lower carbon direction. You know, Timmermans, when he was here and that was early September, made a point as well of warning about unhappiness in the European Union, about some of the what he saw as protectionist elements of the new U.S. climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act. I had an op ed a week ago in The New York Times about that when Macron came to visit DC. And I think that’s a really important trend of 2022 as well. Industrial policy is back in vogue. Governments are much more active role for governments to boost strategic industries that they view as economically important or important for other reasons like national security. The poor countries want to own the jobs and own the supply chains. And after, particularly after COVID and the pandemic, with the disruptions we’ve seen in global supply chains, many countries are thinking differently about where where they depend, what countries they’re they’re dependent on ideas of friends during broad trends of globalization or fragmentation have been have been given fuel by what has happened in this energy crisis and in COVID. And it’s really going to reshape the energy map as well as the map of other parts of the economy, I think for for many years to come. And we’re going have to figure out how to make sure that we have a clean energy transition. We significantly. The growth of clean energy sources and the components and critical minerals we need. All of that’s going to require a lot of global integration, a lot of trade, a lot of cooperation. At a time when countries are rethinking whether free market forces in a global economy and and if you have, you know, 90% of your semiconductors made in Taiwan or 90% of your critical minerals refined and processed in China, that doesn’t seem okay right now. And countries are taking a much more active role to change that.
Bill Loveless [00:22:48] Yeah, and Melissa, that seems like an issue that really come up all of a sudden. I guess I was first hearing about it when France’s President Macron was in the United States, in Washington recently and even before he got on the plane from Paris, it seems he was raising that issue. The concerns he had over the the impact of the of the Inflation Reduction Act. And it would give the United States and unfair competitive edge in developing and commercializing clean energy technologies.
Melissa Lott [00:23:20] I think the Inflation Reduction Act was certainly a statement about what the U.S. is going to do when it comes to investing and the carrots, because this was really a it was less sticks and more carrots type of well, it went through and became law. So overall, it was a clear stake in the sand. And I think we are seeing countries respond to that stake in the sand, saying, okay, if the U.S. is going to do this, what are we going to do? And I you hear those conversations going on with our neighbors to the north in Canada, but other countries as well. And it’s opening up a whole conversation about how these supply chains are going to develop in the future. So something that I know we’ve discussed often and I’ve heard you discuss this, Jason, in many forums, which is the fact that the energy transition and a net zero world is not absent of geopolitics, power shift balance a shift, but it is not an absence of geopolitics. Now the impacts of an event like the Russian invasion of Ukraine would be different, but they would still exist. So I think it’s just an important topic that was highlighted this year, and that will be a trend that we’re working through in the coming year as other countries adopt different policies.
Bill Loveless [00:24:26] Yeah, interesting. Mauricio, you see that as well from your perspective in Latin America?
Mauricio Cardenas [00:24:33] Well, you know, going back to this issue of a development comment and then Macron’s. I think there is one aspect of it which is good, which is, you know, there’s a competition. There’s a race for industrial policies. And who is going to take the lead in terms of the development of new technologies. And I think that’s healthy. That’s healthy, it’s healthy for the world, but it can certainly trigger some tensions and basically could end up in generating protectionism, which is it’s perhaps not a good idea. And and I would say that the way out of this is if whatever countries do to subsidize in incentivize new technologies does not come at the cost of excluding others or basically reducing the possibility of other countries that are significantly engaged in this race. Also developing their technologies, I think is a fine line there. But certainly I think with President Macron’s statements and during his visit to to Washington, it generated some some concern not just in Europe but in other parts of the world.
Jason Bordoff [00:26:01] I’d love to hear Mauricio you say more about that. I knew this podcast couldn’t get to its conclusion, Bill, without my reverting to host mode, not just guest mode.
Bill Loveless [00:26:10] Go for it, Jason. Go for.
Mauricio Cardenas [00:26:12] It.
Jason Bordoff [00:26:12] Just because, Mauricio, you have such a unique perspective as a former energy minister and finance minister, and the issue you’re raising brings both of those things together and how do you achieve what you just said? You know, the US Inflation Reduction Act is, is heavy subsidies for electric vehicles and wants those electric vehicles to be made in the U.S. or North America and not flow to companies overseas. And there’s political and economic reasons why people in Washington feel like that’s important. That’s what builds the political support for a measure like that, not just people who care about climate, but labor unions and and industry and other parts of of of the political spectrum or the you know, the Inflation Reduction Act has this massive subsidy for green hydrogen. $3 per kilogram is enormous. And you’re going to see a host of projects now get built in the Gulf Coast. Countries are worried that projects that may have happened in their country are going to shift to the Gulf Coast instead and they might see it. So that maybe is where you say let’s now we have a competition. So they should subsidize it, too. But we might have a ton of projects in the U.S. that the U.S. taxpayer is supporting someone to make a product. For export. And then it’s like, why is the U.S. taxpayer paying to make hydrogen cheaper for consumption in Germany or Japan? How do you how do you actually do what you just said needs to be done?
Mauricio Cardenas [00:27:31] Yeah, well, it’s a it’s a very difficult question, but I’ll start with the premise, which is this is such a challenging problem, developing the new technologies, making sure that we move to to net zero. And this is this is global. No country alone is going to be able to solve this. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act has a transition and essentially says that by the end of this decade, not just all the electric vehicles should be manufactured in North America, but also all the components, including the the batteries and the minerals, are necessary to produce the batteries. But honestly, I don’t think that’s realistic. I think the U.S., yeah, it’s going to promote the development of these new minerals, the strategic minerals, the processing of those minerals. But maybe you just don’t have enough minerals, maybe you just don’t have enough lithium or cobalt in the U.S. and and you’ll need to bring that from other parts of the world. And and that’s the way in which we’re going to deal with this. You know, the climate crisis, it’s not it’s not one country alone being able to deal with everything that is necessary.
Bill Loveless [00:28:45] Yeah. Jason, I’m thinking, you know, since that visit by President Macron to to Washington president or during that visit, President Biden indicated that, you know, there were ways of tweaking the the the implementation of that law to address some of Macron’s and other others concerns abroad over the competitiveness the U.S. may enjoy under this new law. You worked at the White House once under President Obama. I mean, what sorts of tools does that do policymakers have to try to make these kinds of adjustments?
Jason Bordoff [00:29:21] It depends on what you’re talking about and which part of inflation reduction that you’re talking about in Treasury is going to be putting out, you know, tons of guidance for how to deploy these tax incentives. The truth is that an and on any given measure, there’s some degree of discretion that the federal government probably has in how they interpret, you know, an unclear clause here or there. But I think as the Biden administration has said and some commentators have said, the discretion for the Inflation Reduction Act is somewhat limited. The things that Europe is most upset about, the administration can’t just choose not to implement. There are things that you creative reading of the language you could give. For example, the the words free trade partner in the bill are not capitalized and not defined. Maybe that doesn’t mean you have to have a formal free trade agreement, but you think different. You think a little more creatively about who your free trade partners are. That could engender a backlash from some people in Washington who don’t then don’t like what the Biden administration did. We’ll see. But but but there are other tools I think the administration has beyond implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act for broader trade diplomacy with with Europe. So if they may not like pieces, the Inflation Reduction Act, maybe there’s a concession you could make on something else. So it’s going to it’s not easy. It’s going to take some deft diplomacy, deft diplomacy between between the U.S. and European leaders. But but there’s also opportunities in that. And I wrote even in that op ed about, for example, you can imagine now that after years of complaining the U.S. is not doing enough on climate, now suddenly we’re doing almost too much because of how much money we’re putting in to support clean energy. Maybe there are now opportunities to cooperate on things like let’s set standards for heavy industry, for for products like like steel, green steel or green aluminum. And then and then and then and then have tariffs or other measures imposed on countries that don’t meet those standards. And then you again, try to create this virtuous cycle of competition. And you just saw a few days later an announcement from the administration that they were moving forward with that. So there’s a bunch of opportunities we have to cooperate on climate policy as well. And then the Europeans just, you know, came out with with guys with an agreement on how they would do a carbon border adjustment. Maybe, you know, the U.S. can now potentially be part of that rather than a target of it, because we’re taking very strong climate action ourselves.
Mauricio Cardenas [00:31:37] I mean, let’s highlight the positive here, though. Definitely do the thing that, you know, I would highlight is the fact that we’re back in a world with industrial policies and that governments are taking this very seriously. They need to invest and they need to provide incentives so that we develop new technologies where perhaps this is going to trigger our new industrial revolution. And this is this is all for the good there. There is a subsidy to raise that’s also positive. I mean, countries competing where I have a bit more difficulty is with this idea that everything has to be domestically produced. I think here we’re quite. There’s a misconception. And I think the misconception is that, yes, there is a concern, a real one and a serious one, that China is is becoming a dominant player in in many, many markets in many segments, not just these, you know, strategic and critical minerals. They’re processing many of the components. And and that brings the whole sort of other questions on on whether we want a world in which we have such a dominant player but that that doesn’t really necessarily translate into yeah, we’re going to become protectionist in every sense.
Bill Loveless [00:32:57] You know, we’re talking about the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States. It certainly was a big deal. Were you surprised, chastened by the success of the Biden administration in obtaining approval of this bill in Congress?
Jason Bordoff [00:33:12] Well, I think everyone was a little surprised because it seemed until just just, you know, the few weeks before that, it was it was Senator Joe Manchin was not going to support this kind of action. So. So, yeah, I was surprised that it came together in the end. I think there was hope that you could get some big piece of of investment on it. And, you know, one one thing to point out is you had you had civil society groups and advocacy groups. You had the Biden administration itself that put a very large package on the table related not just to climate, but many other issues. And then because of concerns about inflation and how much money we were spending to deal with COVID and other things, you know, that got pared back, the investment in climate did not get pared back very much. And I think it’s a really noticeable and important indication of the coalition that’s been built to support stronger climate action, tied in part to some of the aspects of what it means for the U.S. economy and for U.S. leadership on a security grounds, which actually, if you read Joe Manchin statement about supporting it, it was as much about strength of of U.S. leadership in emerging new industries and energy security as it was about climate, probably even more about the former that that that while many other things that perhaps I would have liked to have seen get done fell on the cutting room floor. Oh most of the of the commitment to taking stronger climate action did not and you know I hope that’s a trend. We’ll see continue.
Bill Loveless [00:34:39] Yeah. Melissa, surprise to you.
Melissa Lott [00:34:43] So I’m not surprised by how strong to Jason’s last point, the climate piece of this came through. There is so much pressure in the system to act to create the incentives necessary to get these technologies onto the system. Now, the fact that the Inflation Reduction Act coming through when it did, I think was a surprise to me and a lot of other people. I know so many people in the system that have been working endlessly for, you know, a year, year and a half. And they were like, okay, I’m going to take a summer holiday for a week. And they get to the top of a mountain case. In one case of one colleague I was speaking to, he’s on the top of a mountain having a good hike and his phone goes off and he was like, Whoa, where’s my laptop? I got to go. Overall, one thing I want to highlight is just the impact that we think the Inflation Reduction Act is going to have. So overall, if you look at the U.S. compared to our 2005 baseline, where something like 17, 18% down in terms of overall emissions, there’s bumps along that pathway, eight them a completely smooth curve. But around that level right now. And if you looked at where we thought we would be by 2030, which of course President Biden and the administration have announced a goal of reaching 50 to 52% reduction in emissions by 2030. We were cruising towards maybe half of that 25%. And that’s, you know, natural gas replacing coal, cheap solar, cheap when storage, a lot of stuff that’s baked into the system at this point because of the actions of states, the actions of companies, etc., etc., the Inflation Reduction Act, when we’re looking at the numbers, even in a conservative case, that number goes up. What we’re projecting by 2030 going from 25% to 35%, which is some optimistic assumptions we’re getting towards to 45%. 4344 I think is what energy innovation came out with. But others have estimated it closer to 45%. That’s a big deal. That’s a jump. And I think it’s really interesting. To Mauricio, to your point, this is done with an industrial policy. This was done with something that is predominantly carrots, not sticks. And that’s pretty tremendous when you think about it. It’s definitely a big deal. And yeah, when I go back to the week when it was all happening, all of a sudden I was surprised personally that it was happening at that moment. That was that was a big moment.
Jason Bordoff [00:36:54] Can I I’m going to ask and revert to a question again, if you don’t mind. BELL But because Melissa knows both of these worlds, because about what how you do energy system modeling, the things that tell you it might be 35% or 45%. What assumptions go into that? And then a lot of the work she’s overseeing as research director here at the Energy Center is all of the different barriers to implementation that might make those. Smooth techno economic models far too optimistic. And so you have a bill that says there’s a certain amount of money for tax credits for EVs. A model will tell you if you spend this much money subsidizing EVs, you’ll get this many more EVs. But we have to make sure that the batteries don’t have components that come from countries like China, where 90% of the current, you know, refining and processing for many minerals is done. We know how difficult it is to build projects here with transmission lines, renewable projects and many other things. Seven, ten years. And we need to do that so much faster. And Washington’s unable to get permitting reform done. The trade barriers and trade tensions we were talking about how much of this bill has to be implemented at the state and local level and the capacity that those governments need. There’s a lot of challenges to putting this money to work. And I’m wondering when you see all of that, maybe you can talk a little bit if you want, about what we’re doing here too, because it’s informing how we’re thinking about it. But does that shed that? Should our listeners feel like, you know what? Yes. You see the modeling that it’s going to be 35 or 45%, but that’s like a little bit too optimistic or that’s really hard.
Melissa Lott [00:38:22] So none of this is absolutely guaranteed. What I would say when I look at the modeling and the assumptions in it, you know, when you’re getting to that band between 35 and 45%, a huge part of their being a band is about what assumptions you make about how we overcome non-technical barriers. I have the solar panels, I’ve got the wind turbines, I know how to build out a grid, but can I sited permit it, get it paid for, and then have those technologies proceeding the market in a way that they can make money? Is that all set up so that we’re set up for success right now? No, we’ve got a lot of barriers in the system and I know we’re thinking a ton about that within the center, about how we can overcome different types of technical, technical, non-technical barriers. Sorry. So we’re thinking a lot about how we can overcome non-technical barriers. And within that, you know, 2030 is around the corner. It’s a blink of an eye when it comes to energy infrastructure. If you think about it being in terms of cop that is just under eight years. That’s fast. Now, what I will say is all the work that we do. So let’s forget 2030 for a minute and those numbers. The same barriers are getting in the way of progress towards a net zero goal to 2035, goal 2040, 2050, and we have to work on them if we want to practically be moving forward quickly. We’re seeing the same thing that we’ll say in Europe right now when it comes to repower EU and how are we actually going to get off of Russian sources of fossil fuels? How we’re going to actually transition our assets and have transition ready assets. So much of it again comes back to permitting siting, having markets that pay. And these are these are known issues. We’re being forced to deal with them much more rapidly because the the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, because of the initiatives going on in Europe, it’s certainly a big issue. Now, one thing I will say is that of the emissions reductions that we’re looking at seeing across all the scenarios, I’m going to highlight two points. One, when we do modeling energy systems modeler, as you just said, Jason, we create smooth curves. The reality is not smooth. It is bumpy. It goes up and down. We, you know, one step forward, two steps back, five steps forward. All of a sudden it’s bumpy and they’re not even across communities. So what a transition looks like, let’s say, to net zero in my home for me means I’m cooking on electric and I have an electric car. If I’m actually in a fossil fuel based community, in a coal community in Colorado, or a fossil fuel community, an oil and gas community here in Texas where I’m sitting today, that transition looks very different. And so that’s something also to acknowledge in this bumpy transition and also not being even geographically and across communities. But when it comes to actually the Inflation Reduction Act and where we go from that 25% up to 35 to 45, just that band, let’s say a huge part of that is leaning on electricity. It’s leaning on power. And if we can’t figure out interconnection, cuz if we can’t figure out how to actually build this stuff, those numbers fade away really quickly because the relative decreases in emissions across industry, buildings, transportation, ag and waste, land use change, all the other things are really tiny. The big bar is power. So we got to sort that out.
Bill Loveless [00:41:29] You know, we’re talking a lot about the Inflation Reduction Act and steps taken by policymakers here in Washington. We also you mentioned, Jason, a minute ago the carbon reduction, the carbon adjustment plans in Europe. Just looking globally, you know, what significant responses have there been from energy and climate policymakers outside the United States? What stood out in your mind?
Jason Bordoff [00:41:51] I think across Europe, we have seen a bunch of emergency measures that would not surprise anyone that you have to make sure you’re meeting people’s heating needs, keeping energy prices affordable. And that will some countries have rethought how they what kind of support they’re willing to put into nuclear power. Public opinion is changing on nuclear power and a recognition remember, this is not just an energy crisis caused by Russia cutting gas supplies. Europe is in an electricity crisis, as our Energy Center colleague and Sophie Corbo has written about, as well as a gas crisis, actually more gas being used for power generation, notwithstanding the fact that there’s so much gas supply available because they have to deal with the fact that they’ve lost nuclear power, particularly in France and drought with hydropower and other things that are not disconnected from climate. So there are emergency measures that are being taken, many of those not great from an emissions standpoint, but I don’t think in the long run they will matter much. But but but a much greater government push to accelerate the pace at which electric heat pumps may be deployed in homes. Or you could try to make electric vehicles available to people. And you saw in the Repower EU plan, you know, a directive from Brussels very hard to implement. So we’ll see if it’s successful, but a directive nonetheless for renewable energy projects to be given, you know, a thumbs up or thumbs down within a year. It’s coming back to the point we were talking a moment ago about how long it takes for these projects to get done. But now you have the imperative not only of climate change but of energy security, too. And people really do jump through hoops when you have problems with energy security in a way that, unfortunately, they don’t always do with the threat of climate change. When you combine the urgency of both of those things, energy security as well as climate, we are seeing governments take take measures that might they might not otherwise have taken. You saw what Germany did to take what would have taken four or five years to get a floating natural gas import terminal built, and they’re doing it in less than a year where we need to do more of that. But some of that is happening on on clean energy sources as well, I think across the emerging markets and developing world. And again, we really want to hear what Mauricio in particular has to say on this, as well as Melissa, of course. I’m a little more concerned the picture is more mixed. I think there you’re seeing many countries that are slowing down or maybe delaying plans that they had to retire. Different sources of energy, particularly coal plants at targets they had are being extended a bit. Energy security, understandably, is being put first and foremost. And, you know, that still does in most parts of the world today. I mean, you’re talking about a hydrocarbon economy and and that’s really trumping some some efforts that might have led to a faster deployment of clean energy in countries that struggle to afford for energy in the first place.
Melissa Lott [00:44:37] So I will highlight one point in not disagreeing with you, Jason, on the point you just made. I’m flagging that energy security and the importance of affordable, reliable electricity have also manifested in some interesting ways here in the U.S. and I think we saw that in California with the kind of reversal in decisions in a way of Diablo Canyon, the nuclear power plant that’s left there. What are we going to do to keep the lights on when there’s tremendous stress from facing these heat waves, etc.? Do we keep existing clean energy on the system? Because, of course, California’s also trying to wind down. All of its sources of emissions throughout the state in the state’s economy. Another piece that’s just come up.
Bill Loveless [00:45:14] Right, Right. I mean, nuclear certainly seems to be getting a fresh look, including from some who were wary of or outright opposed to nuclear in the past. I think there’s an acknowledgment by by many people who stood on that side of the ledger on this topic that, you know, nuclear probably does deserve a fresh look right now. Mauricio, I’m thinking of over the past year or so, we’ve seen significant changes in governments in Latin America, specifically in Chile, Colombia and Brazil. That to a significant extent responded to concerns over changing climate and uncertain energy security issues that came up in elections in those countries. Give us some review for us. What’s happening.
Mauricio Cardenas [00:46:03] There? Well, I was thinking about that question and Jason’s and Melissa’s comments. And I’m in this part of the world, as in any other region, I think it’s very hard to generalize. It’s very hard to say, oh, this is what Latin America is thinking now, and this is the way it’s responding to these new kind of like a new reality. I think one topic that everyone paid a lot of attention and I think in Latin America resonated very well. It’s the concept of friends sharing. I think it was I first heard from Secretary Janet Yellen, Treasury secretary May, in April of March of this year. So the idea that the U.S. is going to have more reliable, secure, trustworthy green economy, even at the cost of losing very important revenues for Colombia. So so you have two two opposing views here in terms of the response to the new kind of context and the new energy on energy situation. I would also say that this is going to take a bit longer. But one other aspect of the Inflation Reduction Act that I think is important is the example that it sets. I think other countries are going to pursue similar policies. I think we were saying before, industrial polices are back and industrial polices are back with kind of like prestige with the idea that this is important, this is what needs to be done. So I think countries are going to basically follow that example. And one very good aspect about the IRA is that it’s heavy on tax incentives and tax incentives that last for a long time, say for ten years. So that’s really what triggers the investment decision. That’s what moves the needle for entrepreneurs that say, well, you know, we have ten years to to develop a project to do this to to invest in innovation. So I think that’s a that’s another way in which I think there would be a response here regionally. And and finally, I would say that countries are becoming aware here in Latin America that Latin America has important assets that the world needs. And I use the word assets because it’s really this year kind of like made it very evident that the world has, you know, problems with energy, has problems with food, has, you know, the need to kind of like use the Amazon to do carbon capture. So that’s another very important asset. So I think Latin America is kind of like view and position in the world has improved. And hopefully that will mean, you know, greater interaction with, say, Europe and the United States in terms of capital. Because the one key obstacle today for the energy transition is the cost of capital. One thing is to build renewables in the US. And another very different thing is to do that in Latin America because the difference is in the cost of capital. So so that I think it’s a it’s something positive that has come out this year, which is, well, we the region is more appreciated, more valued, and perhaps that will mean also we’ll have better access to to capital at lower cost.
Jason Bordoff [00:49:37] That’s your quick follow up, Mauricio, if you don’t mind, I’m just curious. You brought up French during as again, as a former finance minister, how does that manifest itself in policy? If you want to make sure you’re more dependent on trade with allies, however, you find that one way to do that is trade agreements. But there’s no appetite, no appetite, at least in Washington, for more trade agreements. So how do you achieve that outcome?
Mauricio Cardenas [00:50:00] Well, you know, you’re going to think I’m crazy, but one way, which I think the French sharing idea manifested, was in the change of. Attitudes of the U.S. government vis a vis Venezuela. Nothing has really dramatically changed in Venezuela. It’s still a dictatorship. But this we’re seeing flexibility in terms of the sanctions so that more oil is produced from Venezuela. It’s like saying, well, you know, this part of the world is more reliable. We have enough problems with with Russia and with China in the U.S. So, you know, that that to me was was an expression of that of that concept. Of course, there are many other ways of doing this, which I think are are perhaps more consistent and compatible with the idea of strengthening democracies and and and governments with good governance, which is FTA free trade agreements so that say the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act apply not just for a number of years, not just in a transition, but more permanently to countries with which the United States, as the United States, has a free trade agreement, that that’s an important element so that it’s the same thing if our electric vehicle is manufactured in the US or if it’s manufactured, say, in Mexico or in Colombia, I think that will be very important an expression for ensuring and also making sure that some of these tax incentives that the US corporations are going to have could be used to invest, invest, deploy capital in Latin America. That to me would be French.
Bill Loveless [00:51:40] You know, there’s been remarkable research in the United States and around and around the world that continues on opportunities for a clean energy future. Just recently, we heard of a breakthrough, including involving fusion energy, where scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the first time achieved a phenomenon called ignition, that is creating a nuclear reaction that generates more energy than it consumes. And like many people, I’ve long thought that fusion energy was decades away. But yeah, in a show back in September, Dennis White of the director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, said I should give Fusion a fresh look. And, you know, it seems he may be right. Melissa, what stands out for you in the world of energy research?
Melissa Lott [00:52:28] I mean, certainly this fusion announcement is exciting. Like the fact that they were able to actually contain this fusion reaction, they bombarded it with, I think it was 200 lasers. And I just from a scientific and engineering point of view, this is really neat and exciting. Does it change anything that we do over the next eight years or even 18 years? I would push back and say no, but it’s exciting in a step towards a technology that could be available to us in a very interesting and valuable resource in the next few decades. So really, really exciting there. I will say that some of the excitement that I had around research and also around deployment of technologies, you know, certainly was in the energy storage sector where we’re seeing a number of projects that have been funded over the years by our but ignorance, amongst others, actually reaching commercialization stage coming out of the system. You know, it’s one of those we know from the research that if you want to have an affordable and reliable power sector, which is the backbone of decarbonization, you need to not just invest in valuable renewables, wind and solar and others, but also energy storage and firm power, which is where nuclear back to earlier discussions comes in. So saying energy storage, long duration storage announcements come out exciting. I will also pivot though, away from the research for a section and say that one announcement that I was really interested to see was this U.S. Poland nuclear announcement that came out, believe it was in November, and it was saying, you know, pulling in, the U.S. announced the strategic partnership, we’re going to launch the civil nuclear program and we’re going to be moving Westinghouse space technology into a $40 billion inaugural civil nuclear project. Having worked at the International Energy Agency, having worked in Europe for a good number of years before moving to Asia and then back here to the United States, Poland and its dependance on coal and the tensions that I mean, our living, which is the lack of desire to actually connect to increasing amounts of Russia, natural gas, etc.. I think this was the sticking point when it came to a lot of climate policy discussions, like, okay, how are we going to get emissions down? There’s these countries and then, okay, what do we do in Poland? And to see this announcement come out was really interesting and really exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.
Bill Loveless [00:54:49] I find interesting to some of the work that’s taking place at the ARPA-E, at the Department of Energy, where Jigar Shah has certainly brought to life back to life, I guess you might say, a program that is sort of founded during the previous administration. I know you watched that program closely as well. What are some investments they’re making that you think? Would make a difference.
Melissa Lott [00:55:09] Yeah. So first comment. Hey, Jigger, if you’re listening. Hope you’re doing well. You’ve got a busy year ahead. I think we all know this. And and I’ll say your busy year started in January. I was particularly following I on a couple of different announcements, including that first conditional loan guarantee that went to the monolith Nebraska around their Electric Creek methane Pyrolysis project. Really interesting to see how doing more broadly and how the conversation outside of the federal government has leaned into this concept of carbon management negative emissions technologies. How do we actually get the molecules that we’re going to need to produce things that we want? In this case, it’s about, you know, producing rubber, producing tires, but also other things. So that was a really interesting one. I will say that the number of times I explained in the first half of the year what methane pyrolysis is. Exponential increase over the past year before that. And, you know, that is one that that I certainly followed in addition to all the announcements that came out from the Biden administration around carbon management. So these director capture hubs, these hydrogen hubs that are being developed, just a lot of movement to actually get to those tougher to abate, more difficult and tricky parts of the economy.
Bill Loveless [00:56:23] Interesting. We’ve talked a lot about things we’ve seen happen during the course of 2022. What are some of the things that we still don’t understand well enough? We’ve touched on some. We’ve mentioned the difficulties of implementing laws, for example, either ones passed in the United States or policies adopted elsewhere. But you know what? What are some of the other things that we still don’t understand well enough and that we need to pay particular attention to going forward? Jason, any thoughts on that?
Jason Bordoff [00:56:57] Well, there’s a lot of things we don’t understand well enough, which is presumably why many of us have a job researching issues of energy policy and finance and technology and how to have a faster and hopefully smoother energy transition, among numerous other things that the faculty here at Columbia’s world class. And when we think about climate impacts, how to respond to climate change, not to mention what the solutions will need to look like in clean energy or other parts of of of of the MIT, where other sources of emissions, agriculture, forestry, etc.. I think in the next year you’re going to have a set of uncertainties that will need to look particularly closely at and try to understand from the standpoint of policy research. I was listening to Melissa talk about technology innovation. You know, in response to your question and what I was thinking about was not only the the innovations that have happened in technology that are very exciting and there are many that she talked about fusion being one, but also in policy. One of the things I thought was interesting about the next year and is something we spend a lot of our time on, are the innovations in policy how governments are struggling to respond to this moment we’re in of transition and energy security and climate crisis. What Mauricio was saying about how do we actually achieve whatever French warring means. You saw the Biden administration say we want to make sure there’s adequate oil supply to keep gasoline affordable, but we want to be careful about investing in long lived assets that might saddle us with hydrocarbon infrastructure 20, 30 years from now. So they were calling on we can argue about whether this was effective or not, calling on producers in the U.S. to produce more and saying, we promised to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. So they just took a small step in that direction today in order to give the industry an incentive to produce. That’s not what the speaker is designed for. The SPR was not intended to be a mechanism to encourage producers to produce, but I think it’s an example of how policymakers are struggling in this moment, and they have a toolkit that’s not fit for purpose anymore. Many of the tools of energy security was were created a half century ago. We just implemented a whole innovative new mechanism of sanctions, which is to say the problem with sanctions is our colleague Richard Nephew, wrote in a book for us here at the Energy Center is how do you impose pain on your target without pain on yourselves? Well, it’s really hard if you take oil off the market, it makes gasoline prices go up. Well, maybe we can go after Russian oil revenue, but not supply with a price cap. That’s an innovation. We’ll try it and see what happens. The IEA has warned about flexibility being the new watchword of energy security because we’re going to have a grid that’s going to require so much more energy on standby because of the intermittency of renewables. I bring it up because I think it does guide our research agenda here at the Energy Center. But it’s it’s an area where there is so much uncertainty about aspects of energy, geopolitics in the world that we’re in. Again, a shift from globalization towards globalization or fragmentation. These broad trends that are that are underlying this, combined with this incredibly rapid transition, if you can come anywhere close to goals like net zero by 2050. Uncertainty about technology, and we don’t have a policy toolkit to deal with that yet. And that’s one area of uncertainty that we’re going to have to get much better at, and that’s what we’re working on. One of the things working on here.
Melissa Lott [01:00:19] And I’ve got a question I actually want to pitch to Mauricio, following up from Jason’s point. So, Jason, you were highlighting some of the technology things that I had mentioned in the policies and needing new tools, their ratio. I think this is a question for you. I know we’ve been talking in the center a lot about the finance aspect of this and needing new tools and new options to actually get finance where it’s needed. Do you see that being an area of uncertainty and a need for innovation?
Mauricio Cardenas [01:00:43] It is a huge area of uncertainty and it goes back to an issue that Jason mentioned at the very beginning of this podcast, which is the gap between ambition and reality. So many emerging economies, including those of Latin America, have, you know, very significant levels of ambition in terms of their national determined contributions to reduce emissions. Some of them, like my own country, Colombia, pledging to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 51%, just the same as the US by 2030. So one of the papers I produced this year at the center was a paper estimating the cost of that for all the countries in Latin America. And the costs are just amazing about ten 11% of GDP per year if you’re serious about reaching that target. So the next question is, is your question, Melissa, where is the money coming from? Who’s going to pay for that and who’s going to finance that? So it’s very different if you are the U.S. government. So you print the money that, you know, the world’s reserve currency and you can ignore to some extent how big is your fiscal deficit, Because it’s like, well, at the end of the day, people are going to pay and finance that deficit. But for a country in the emerging world, it’s a much harder proposition. So the conversation about finance becomes central. This actually is is it puts the center of gravity at multilateral development banks and their role and their capacity, their their their ability to to lend and to provide kind of like, you know, support to countries to to get there. So I think that conversation is just just beginning. So back to Bill’s point. And what are the the the pending the big pending questions? Well, one big pending question is it’s essential that it’s finance. And I think another pending question and Jason has written a lot about this, It’s it’s whether this energy crisis is is it’s an opportunity for accelerating the energy transition or is going to delay the energy transition. And I think a lot of it’s going to depend on the financing question and what governments do and and to some extent, not necessarily the most important aspect of this, but what’s going to happen with oil prices as we go into into the future. And I don’t know if you saw the reports that we kind of produced this week on on on the new outlook for oil prices. But some of the banks, some of the Wall Street banks are saying that prices are going to back oil prices. Brant, Prices are going to go back to over $100 per barrel. So that to me, in a way is a is a signal that that could delay somehow the the investment in the energy transition.
Bill Loveless [01:03:38] Yeah, that’s an important point to consider, Mauricio. And, you know, one of the things I’m enjoying in this conversation is we have three podcast hosts here as a result, getting some very good questions. I like I like the I like the way this is working out. Well, I think it’s safe to say it’s been an astonishing year for developments in energy and climate change, some of it predictable, but so much of it unseen. And who knows what lies in store for the year 2023. It’s been helpful and fun to talk through some of these things on the air together. Jason and Melissa and Rachel. Let’s do it again sometime.
Jason Bordoff [01:04:16] Really enjoyed that. This was great. Thank you for bringing us together. Bill.
Melissa Lott [01:04:19] Always great to chat with you. Thank you. Really enjoyed.
Jason Bordoff [01:04:21] It. And happy New Year, everyone.
Bill Loveless [01:04:28] Thank you again, Jason Bordoff, Melissa Lot and Mauricio Cardenas. And thank you for joining us on Columbia Energy Exchange. The show is brought to you by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The show is hosted by Jason Bordoff, Envy Bill Loveless. The show is produced by Erin Hartig, Stephen Lacy and Cecily Mazer Martinez from Post-Script Media. Additional support from Daniel Prop, Natalie Volk and Kyu Lee Gregory Veal. Frank is our sound engineer. For more information about the podcast for the Center on Global Energy Policy, visit us online at Energy Policy, Columbia Dot edu or follow us on social media at Columbia View Energy. And if you like what you heard, consider giving us a rating. On Apple Podcasts, it helps the show reach more listeners like yourself. We’ll see you next week.
The year 2022 was one of the most tumultuous years for global energy markets in decades.War. Fossil fuel shortages. Extreme price spikes. Supply chain disruptions in clean energy.
It also brought transformative changes. An historic U.S. climate bill, a first-of-its-kind loss and damage agreement at COP27, and record electric car sales. We tackled all these stories on the show this year. Now we’re wondering: how will they play out next year?
Will supply chains return to normal after their COVID chaos? How volatile will fossil fuel prices remain? And what kind of technological breakthroughs can we expect in clean energy?
This week, a 2022 wrap-up. Host Bill Loveless is joined by a panel of experts from the Center on Global Energy Policy – Jason Bordoff, Melissa Lott, and Mauricio Cardenas.
Jason is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy and co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School. Before joining Columbia, he served as special assistant to President Barack Obama, and as senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. And, of course, he is the co-host of this show.
Melissa is the director of research at the Center on Global Energy Policy. She co-leads the Power Sector and Renewable Research Initiative and serves as the acting director of the Carbontech Development Initiative. Melissa is the host of “The Big Switch,” another podcast by the Center on Global Energy Policy.
Mauricio is a professor of professional practice in global leadership at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and director of the school’s Master of Public Administration in Global Leadership. He has previously served Colombia’s energy minister and finance minister.
Together, they discuss the year’s biggest moments at the intersection of energy, policy, and geopolitics. They also talk about Europe’s energy challenges, global climate and energy policies – including the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act – and the trajectory for fossil fuels and renewables in the years ahead.
Around the world, activists are turning to the courts to hold major polluters accountable for climate change.
This report examines the prospects of supplying gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe from a technical, geopolitical, and economic perspective.