The need for rapid, profound decarbonization has never been more clear, manifested in the health, environmental and economic damages attributed to climate change. The growing consensus and urgency of addressing climate change is reflected in new policies aimed at achieving net-zero emissions, as more companies and governments commit to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal or by eliminating carbon dioxide emissions altogether. These new net-zero policies share a universal common aspect: the need to actually reduce greenhouse gases to address the worsening impacts of climate change. However, too often, policies that appear effective on the surface have little real-world impact on emissions or are excessively costly compared to alternatives. To assess progress and design policies for a net-zero world, decision makers need better tools, focused on understanding the full emissions impacts and costs of policies and other measures.

Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy hosted the global launch of a new report, “Levelized Cost of Carbon Abatement: A Cost-Assessment Methodology for a Net-Zero Emissions World,” which offers an improved method to assess the costs and greenhouse gas reductions associated with carbon removal policies, technologies and investment decisions--a levelized cost of carbon abatement. The new method offers a consistent way to estimate and compare the cost and effectiveness of different strategies and provides an “apples-to-apples” metric to help decision makers navigate the dynamic landscape of full emissions accounting to achieve climate goals, with a better understanding of costs and risks. The event featured a discussion of this LCCA method and a look at the market dynamics and commercial opportunities for carbon reduction investments. Akshat Rathi, a London-based reporter for Bloomberg News and author of United We are Unstoppable, an inspiring collection of essays from young people all over the world who are fighting for their homes and their futures in the face of climate change, moderated the discussion.

Keynote Remarks:

  • Heidi Heitkamp, Former U.S. Senator (ND)

Report Presentation:

  • Dr. Julio Friedmann, Lead Author and Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA 


  • Marisa Buchanan, Managing Director, Head of Sustainability, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Jules Kortenhorst, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Arjun Murti, Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus & Advisory Board Member, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA
  • Elizabeth Willmott, Carbon Lead, Microsoft

Closing Remarks: 

  • Tim Ryder, Legislative Aide to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer