The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA has partnered with Climate Week NYC 2020 to curate a series of virtual events beginning September 21, 2020, focused on addressing climate change from a policy perspective. Throughout the week, we'll explore the policies, technologies and investments needed to rebuild the global economy after COVID-19, and to accelerate climate policy at the local, state, federal and international levels with a focus on U.S. leadership and policy pathways This page summarizes our events and climate-related research and other resources.
- International Conference on Sustainable Development | September 21-22
- Lamont Special screening of the film “Picture A Scientist” | September 21-24
- The Impact of the Energy Transition on Global Health and Economic Prosperity | September 21
- Achieving a Net Zero Emissions Economy: Returning Carbon to the Earth | September 22
- Breaking Ground on Clean Construction: Rethinking and Rebuilding for a Greener Economy | September 22
- Towards a Green & Just Recovery: Reimagining Our Future Through Divest/Invest | September 22
- Seminar in Race, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice with Mona Hanna-Attisha | September 22
- Green Recovery from COVID-19: Perspectives From Across the Globe | September 22
- Powering an Equitable, Sustainable, and Just Global Energy Transition | September 23
- Energizing America: A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission | September 23
- Sea Level Change: a SciArt Concert and Lecture | September 23
- On Fire: The Escalating Consequences of a Warming Climate | September 23
- Environmental Justice: Climate, Health, and Energy | September 24
- Food and Climate Change | September 24
- Sustainable Development Speaker Series: Sustainable Transportation | September 25
Monday, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
- The Impact of the Energy Transition on Global Health and Economic Prosperity The global pandemic of COVID-19 has transformed the landscape for 2020 and beyond with drastic impacts on public health and the global economy. For many it has given pause for thought and provided a new perspective on how to tackle the other global crisis, climate change. In June, the International Energy Agency published their World Energy Outlook Special Report on Sustainable Recovery, giving governments a “once-in-a-lifetime” roadmap to sustainably rebuild their economies following COVID-19. The plan demonstrates that 9 million jobs could be created by developing a resilient and cleaner energy system whilst driving economic growth. The Center on Global Energy Policy will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the road to a cleaner system and brighter economic future. | September 21, 2020 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT | Register here.
Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
- Achieving a Net Zero Emissions Economy: Returning Carbon to the Earth As underscored in the IPCC Special Report on 1.5, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) is vital to reducing emissions to net-zero by mid-century. To achieve this goal, we must go a step further and decisively embrace carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques. Net-zero emission pledges have gained significant traction in policy circles and civil society, signaling a higher level of climate ambition. In just the first quarter of 2020, numerous governments and corporations have made major commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The arithmetic requirements and technical opportunities of a net-zero global energy system are most clear when considering the road to a mid-century goal. To this end, the next decade will be central to any successful climate strategy with a net-zero ambition. With this clear premise and critical timeframe in mind, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute partnered on a net-zero emissions economy project, resulting in a seminal report which the two organizations are pleased to launch with a virtual event during the 2020 New York Climate Week. The report, “Net-Zero and Geospheric Return: Thinking about 2030”, frames carbon management, including CCUS and CO2 removal, in the context of net-zero emissions and returning carbon back to where it came from, the geosphere. During this virtual event, the authors of the report will be joined by leading climate scientists and policy makers. This high-level event seeks to explore the critical role of CCUS and CDR in a net-zero emissions framework and the value of a balanced carbon management approach to 2030; an important milestone through which any entity with a net-zero pledge must measure their progress towards the ultimate 2050 goal. | September 22, 2020 | 9:00-10:30 a.m. EDT | Register here.
- Green Recovery from COVID-19: Perspectives From Across the Globe Around the world, countries are undertaking fiscal stimulus in order to accelerate their recovery from COVID-19. In some locations, governments are integrating into their stimulus programs investments designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution, increase clean energy innovation, create jobs, and provide climate solutions. This event will focus on so-called "green stimulus" in several settings around the globe -- in the United States, in the European Union, and in developing countries including those across sub-Saharan Africa. Join the Center on Global Energy Policy for a candid and far-reaching panel discussion on green recovery from COVID-19, which will explore various governments’ approaches to creating jobs and cutting emissions through such elements as clean energy transition funds, carbon taxes and green infrastructure. Panelists will share insights on prospects for a green recovery and how economies can emerge from this crisis stronger and more sustainable than we were before. | September 22, 2020 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT | Register here.
Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
- Powering an Equitable, Sustainable, and Just Global Energy Transition An equitable, sustainable, and just global energy transition will not be possible without the broad and equal participation and leadership of women in all aspects of the energy industry. Yet worldwide, the energy industry continues to be one of the least gender inclusive segments of the global economy – women make up only 22% of the traditional energy workforce and 32% of the renewable energy workforce. We need all hands on deck and diverse ideas and innovations in order to realize critical climate and emissions reductions targets by 2050 and a clear plan of action to bridge the gaps and harness the full potential of women in energy. 2020 is a pivotal year in the global climate change efforts, and the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Women in Energy (WIE) program is pleased to host a dialogue with dynamic industry leaders who are making vital contributions towards the global energy transition. The expert speakers will share their contributions to the energy transition and engage in a candid discussion about the barriers to women’s equal participation that must be addressed in order to ensure a just and sustainable transition. | September 23, 2020 | 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT | Register here.
- Energizing America: A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission New and improved clean energy technologies are critical for swiftly decarbonizing the global economy. The United States has an opportunity to accelerate clean energy transitions abroad and build job-creating industries at home by investing in innovation. Join the Center on Global Energy Policy for the global launch of Energizing America, which lays out a roadmap to triple U.S. federal investment in clean energy research, development, and demonstration to $25 billion by 2025. This volume is the most comprehensive guide for policymakers of its kind, with a 100-day plan for the next administration and Congress and detailed recommendations for boosting investments in cutting-edge technologies, including advanced renewables, energy storage, carbon capture and removal, smart energy systems, and platform technologies. | September 23, 2020 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT | Register here.
- On Fire: The Escalating Consequences of a Warming Climate Join the Earth Institute online for a lecture by Dr. Park Williams about how climate change is fueling dangerous wildfires--and what we can expect in the future. | September 23, 2020 | 6:00-7:00 p.m. EDT | Register here.
Thursday, SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
- Environmental Justice: Climate, Health, and Energy Climate change is already impacting the health of people around the world. At the heart of the challenge—and its solution—is the energy system, which currently produces not only the majority of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions but also the vast majority of key air pollutants that harm the health of communities around the world. While these health impacts are felt by everyone, the burden is not evenly shared, with poor and marginalized communities often experiencing a disproportionate share of these ill effects. The Center on Global Energy Policy will host a discussion on understanding the impacts of climate change and air pollution on our health as well as how the energy transition can help to protect and improve human health moving forward. | September 24, 2020 | 9:00-10:30 a.m. EDT | Register here.
- Food and Climate Change Food systems contribute 21-37% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the best estimate. But food systems have received far less attention than power and transport systems in the global response to climate change. Very few countries take a comprehensive view of the food system in their climate action plans (known as “Nationally-Determined Contributions” or “NDCs”) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Columbia University, New York University, and the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), in collaboration with FAO’s statistical experts, have launched a program to improve data on food system emissions, develop better policy responses and educate the public on the food-climate connection. Please join us for a discussion of these issues, with a particular focus on the opportunities to include food system measures in the updated NDCs that national governments submit to the UNFCCC in the next year. | September 24, 2020 | 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT | Register here.
- Energy Policy Tracker: Collectively, G20 governments represent about 80 percent of the world’s economic input, and together, have pledged to inject trillions of dollars into the global economy to counteract the health, social and financial shocks caused by the COVID-19 crisis. But are we building back smarter? Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and 13 expert organizations from around the globe released a new website and database to track these investments from a climate and energy perspective. The team sends out a weekly update with the status of fossil versus clean energy funding, and a headline summary of the most important energy policy decisions taken in G-20 countries. Sign-up to receive the weekly Energy Policy Tracker update here.
- Leveraging State Funds for Clean Energy: Lessons from New York State Richard Kauffman and David Sandalow propose four principles to guide state governments in spending limited funds to promote clean energy and discuss recent programs that applied those principles in New York State.
- What’s Ailing California’s Electric System? In State of the Planet, Cheryl LaFleur diagnoses what's really ailing California's electric system, and lays out the four "preexisting conditions" that need to be addressed to prevent future blackouts.
- Trends and Contradictions in China’s Renewable Energy Policy Anders Hove examines China’s recent energy policy announcements and their implications for the 14th Five-Year Plan, which will set energy policy for the period from 2021–2025.
- Yes, We Can Get Rid of the World’s Dirtiest Fuel In Foreign Policy, Jason Bordoff argues that even as many governments and environmentalists work to curb new coal plant financing and construction, far too little attention is being paid to the coal plants that already exist.
- A Near-Term to Net Zero Alternative to the Social Cost of Carbon for Setting Carbon Prices In the journal Nature Climate Change, Noah Kaufman, Alexander R. Barron, Wojciech Krawczyk, Peter Marsters & Haewon McJeon introduce a new approach for pricing carbon -- Near-term to Net Zero.
- Green Stimulus Proposals in the United States and China The Center on Global Energy Policy and Center for International Energy and Environment Strategy Studies at Renmin University convened a joint Zoom workshop on green stimulus programs in the US and China. This summary highlights the main points of the discussion.
- Warsaw, Brussels, and Europe’s Green Deal: Challenges and Opportunities in 2020 Jonathan Elkind and Damian Bednarz survey the challenges facing EU climate policy in 2020, as the bloc seeks both to chart a course to midcentury decarbonization and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Examining Development and Deployment of Large-Scale Carbon Dioxide Management Technologies Dr. Julio Friedmann testifies before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, examining the development and deployment of large-scale carbon dioxide management technologies in the U.S. and their potential to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.
- Strengthening Nuclear Energy Cooperation between the United States and Its Allies Dr. Matt Bowen examines the importance of nuclear cooperation between the US and its allies from the past to the present and future, especially given the urgency and challenge of climate change.
- It’s Time to Put Climate Action at the Center of U.S. Foreign Policy In Foreign Policy, Jason Bordoff argues that from the Pentagon to the White House Situation Room, climate change must be considered in every decision.
- Is China Still a Developing Country? And Why It Matters for Energy and Climate Philippe Benoit & Kevin Jianjun Tu examine the energy and environmental implications of China's hybrid development status -- while China’s economic might makes it a superpower alongside the US, it still faces many of the major challenges of a typical developing country, such as widespread energy poverty. Understanding the nature and implications of China’s unique status can better promote sustainable growth both within China and abroad.
- Will Clean Energy Projects Face Troubles That Have Bedeviled Pipelines? In the New York Times, Jason Bordoff argues that if the permit process is not improved, solar and wind energy efforts may face protracted delays or shutdowns
- Green Stimulus for Oil and Gas Workers: Considering a Major Federal Effort to Plug Orphaned and Abandoned Wells Jason Bordoff, Daniel Raimi, and Neelesh Nerurkar examine the potential to boost US employment in the oil and gas workforce while also reducing pollution through a federal program to plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells.
- The Post-Pandemic Economy Could Be Green and Clean—but Not With These Plan In Foreign Policy, Jason Bordoff argues that the need for government stimulus investments to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic presents a historic opportunity to put countries on a more sustainable path, but, to be effective, green stimulus requires a more expansive view of both the timeframe for recovery spending and of the climate benefits.
- The Greenest Stimulus Is One that Delivers Rapid Economic Recovery Dr. Noah Kaufman argues that a federal government response that meets the scale and scope of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is key to regaining momentum for transformational climate policy in the US.
- Why the United States Should Remain Engaged on Nuclear Power: Climate Change and Air Pollution Matt Bowen explores the important role nuclear energy can play in lowering greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
- The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change: In the journal Lancet, Dr. Melissa C. Lott explores the health impacts of energy pollution, and how climate change is undermining the foundations of good health.
Columbia Energy Exchange Podcast
- “Short Circuiting Policy” Host Bill Loveless talks with Leah about her book “Short Circuiting Policy” and its look at climate policies in different states.
- Sustainable Energy for All Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Damilola Ogunbiyi to discuss meeting the ambitious goal of attaining universal access to sustainable and modern energy.
- “United We Are Unstoppable” Host Bill Loveless talks with Akshat Rathi about his new book "United We are Unstoppable" which includes interviews with 60 young people who are fighting for their homes and their futures in the face of climate change.
- Climate Action in the European Union Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal.
- Energy, Climate Change and Public Lands Host Jason Bordoff is joined by David J. Hayes, an environmental, energy and natural resources lawyer who leads the State Energy and Impact Center at the NYU School of Law.
- 2020 Shapes Up as Critical Year for Climate Host Bill Loveless is joined by Justin Worland, Time magazine’s reporter covering energy, the environment and climate.
- A Democratic Blueprint for Tackling Climate Change Host Bill Loveless is joined by the Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Rep. Kathy Castor.
- New York’s Pathway to Decarbonization Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Ali Zaidi, Chairman of Climate Policy and Finance and Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment in the Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
- “Power After Carbon” In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Peter Fox-Penner, Founder and Director of Boston University’s Institute of Sustainable Energy.
- California Climate Policy: A Conversation with Mary Nichols Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Chair Mary Nichols, the Chair of the California Air Resources Board since 2007.
- Universal Access To Reliable Energy: How Much Progress Has Been Made? Host Bill Loveless talks with Makhtar Diop, the Vice President for Infrastructure at the World Bank.
- Greening Economic Recovery Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Jason Furman to hear about how the progressive economic policy community thinks about greening economic recovery.
- Human Behavior Amid COVID-19, Climate Change Host Bill Loveless is joined by Robert H. Frank, a professor of management and economics at Cornell University to discuss human behavior in a crisis.
- Earth Day at 50: Reflections from Gina McCarthy Host Jason Bordoff is joined by Gina McCarthy, President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Learn more about what we're doing to tackle the climate crisis.
From the Earth Institute
- Climate Week at the Earth Institute | Join the Earth Institute for a series of online events covering the climate crisis and pointing us towards action.
- International Conference on Sustainable Development The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) mobilizes the scientific expertise of the Earth Institute to create tools and research that shape new solutions to the challenges of sustainable development, and to provide policy support – as requested by governments and development organizations – to address these challenges in the context of a global society. | September 21, 2020 - September 22, 2020 (all day) | Register here.
- Lamont Special screening of the film “Picture A Scientist” Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, invites you to a special screening of the film “Picture A Scientist”, a documentary that explores harassment in STEM. | September 21, 2020 - September 24, 2020 | Register here.
- Breaking Ground on Clean Construction: Rethinking and Rebuilding for a Greener Economy This two-day seminar from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will include panel discussions, keynotes, and interactive dialogue on the topic of clean construction practices from rethinking material use and reuse of resources to decarbonizing construction practices in the construction industry. | September 22, 2020 - September 23, 2020 | Register here.
- Towards a Green & Just Recovery: Reimagining Our Future Through Divest/Invest This event is hosted by the NYC Mayor’s Office, C40 Cities, and Columbia University Earth Institute, and will showcase leaders from both local and international climate and business communities to discuss how a broad coalition is working together to ensure that today’s investments do not lock-in polluting technologies, and instead support the solutions we need to avert climate breakdown, create good jobs, advance environmental justice, and support livable communities. | September 22, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT | Register here.
- Seminar in Race, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice with Mona Hanna-Attisha Join the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences for this weekly Seminar in Race, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice. This week the seminar will focus on environmental racism in the United States. | September 22, 2020 | 11:40 a. m. - 12:55 p.m. EDT | Register here.
- Sea Level Change: a SciArt Concert and Lecture Hosted by The Earth Institute, Columbia University, this event is a SciArt concert and lecture designed to showcase work that develops the understanding of sea level and coastal change, through the process of collaboration at the intersection of music and science. | September 23, 2020 | 4:00 p. m. - 5:00 p.m. | Register here.
- On Fire: The Escalating Consequences of a Warming Climate Join the Earth Institute online for a lecture by Dr. Park Williams about how climate change is fueling dangerous wildfires--and what we can expect in the future. | September 23, 2020 | 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. EDT | Register here.
- Sustainable Development Speaker Series: Sustainable Transportation Join the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development for a talk with Cesar Cardona on sustainable transportation and micro-mobility. | September 25, 2020 | 12:00 p. m. - 1:00 p.m. | Register here.
- State of the Planet Blog: You Asked on Climate: CGEP partnered with the Earth Institute to help answer reader-submitted climate-related questions for a special climate edition of You Asked on the State of the Planet blog.
- You Asked: Does Carbon Capture Technology Really Work? Answered by Dr. Julio Friedmann
- You Asked: What Are My Clean Energy Options in New York? Answered by Sarah La Monaca and Dr. Noah Kaufman
- You Asked: How Much Does the U.S. Subsidize Renewable Energy Versus Fossil Fuels? Answered by Pete Marsters
From Columbia University
- What is the Columbia commitment to climate response?: Learn more in this short video.
- New Climate School: Columbia University President Lee Bollinger recently announced the creation of a new Climate School to tackle the most urgent environmental and public health challenges.