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Events Climate Change

Engaging State-Owned Power Companies in Climate Action

Past Event

November 4, 2021

10:00 am - 11:00 am

State-owned power companies (SPCs) are major drivers of greenhouse gas emissions. SPCs emit over 6.2 GtCO2 per year, a figure which is more than any country other than China and constitutes nearly 45% of total global power sector emissions. At the same time, SPCs are large providers of low-carbon power alternatives. SPCs are particularly dominant in many emerging economies, such as China, India, Mexico and South Africa, and are also major producers in many OECD countries. As a consequence, the successful transition of the power sector to a low-carbon future, both at a global level and for many countries, will require engaging SPCs in low-carbon action.

In large part because of their government ownership structure, SPCs may operate under governance structures and incentives that are quite different from those facing their private investor-owned counterparts. Unfortunately, to date, SPCs and their specificities have largely been overlooked in the international climate discourse, with much of the focus on private investor-owned companies.

In order to improve the contribution of SPCs to the climate effort, and to raise the profile of how to engage these important players in the decarbonization effort, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a panel on this topic.


  • Laurie Fitzmaurice, Executive Director, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA

Welcome Remarks:

  • Philippe Benoit, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA


  • Leonardo Beltrán, former Deputy Secretary of Energy, Mexico
  • Jason Bordoff, Co-Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School; Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA
  • Ranjit Lamech, Regional Director, Infrastructure, for the East Asia and Pacific Region, The World Bank
  • Gary Sutherland, Director, Strategic Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, Northeast Markets, Hydro-Québec

This event was organized with the support of the Growald Climate Fund.