The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) announced today its first global cohort of engineers to the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition (CEET). Among the 36 members is Dr. Melissa Lott, Director of Research and Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia University.

The CEET, which serves as an independent advisory council to the UN Secretary-General, was launched in September 2021 to contribute to the UN’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The council is chaired by Gerd Müller, Director General UNIDO and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of SDSN and former Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

“Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is possible! We have the knowledge and the technologies to make it happen. Bringing in world-class scientific and engineering know-how from across the world, the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition will provide concrete solutions to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement as well as universal energy access for all,”  said Gerd Müller in the official announcement for the group. 

According to the group, engineers were selected from every continent and bring a wide range of experience – from business, academia, and public policy. Ahead of the UN General Assembly in September, the Council will continue to recruit until they reach 50 members. By November, the Council will work to prepare its first statement for COP27 in Egypt.

“It’s exciting to see the United Nations take active steps to build a diverse cohort of energy and climate experts,” said Jason Bordoff, Founding Director of CGEP and Co-Dean at the Columbia Climate School. “Few people better combine deep expertise in energy systems and technologies with demonstrated capability to engage with decision-makers in the public and private sector and have impact. I have no doubt that Melissa’s deep technical expertise will help further the Council’s global mission to achieve net zero decarbonization by mid-century.”

Dr. Lott has worked as an engineer and advisor for nearly 20 years in the United States, Europe, and Asia. At CGEP, Dr. Lott serves as the Center’s Director of Research, leading a team of over 30 researchers on topics ranging from industrial decarbonization, carbon management, and more. She also co-leads the Power Sector and Renewables Research Initiative, where her work focuses on maximizing the public health benefits of the energy transition to reach net-zero.

“It’s an honor to join the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition,” said Dr. Melissa Lott, Director of Research at CGEP. “I look forward to working with this incredible group of recognized global experts to support the UN’s mission of facilitating a rapid and equitable energy transition.”

Prior to joining CGEP, Dr. Lott served as the Assistant Vice President of the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC), where she led the development of the flagship APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook. Dr. Lott has also held roles at the International Energy Agency, where she served as the primary author of the IEA’s technology roadmap on energy storage and at the United States Department of Energy.

Read Dr. Melissa Lott’s full bio here.

For more information on the UN CEET, visit https://www.unido.org/CEET.