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Columbia Energy Exchange

Global Trade in a Decarbonizing World


Pascal Lamy

Chair of the Climate Overshoot Commission

The global energy transition is unfolding in an increasingly fragmented world. The rise of green industrial policies aimed at bolstering domestic clean energy industries is heightening trade tensions and threatening to fracture global markets. 

Meanwhile, power struggles are amping up on the world stage. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and simmering tensions between China and the West, have underscored the complexities of the post-Cold War global order.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of a rapidly escalating climate crisis that requires a concerted global effort to address. 

What do broad trends of deglobalization mean for the clean energy transition? What would a retreat from the norms of free trade mean for the pace of clean energy deployment? And how can policymakers reconcile domestic economic priorities with the urgency of the climate crisis?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Pascal Lamy about the role of international trade in meeting climate goals.

Pascal is the chair of the Climate Overshoot Commission, an organization created to address the consequences of current and past greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, he was president of the Paris Peace Forum, a French nonprofit that convenes leaders to pursue global cooperation and collective action. Prior to that, he served as the director-general of the World Trade Organization from 2005 to 2013. He has also served in a variety of roles at Crédit Lyonnais, the European Commission, and the French government.

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