Kirsten Nicole Smith is a Research Associate at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University with research interests broadly covering electricity markets, clean energy investment and policy interventions to decarbonize the energy sector. Her previous research has largely focused on the impact of climate regulation on the profitability of energy development and capital investment decisions.
Kirsten has worked at the intersection of energy and climate change policy for 10+ years across government, academia, and the private sector. Prior to joining CGEP, Kirsten spent three years in Tokyo, Japan at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) as a visiting researcher representing Canada. In this role she led the energy investment and climate change policy research as part of the flagship APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook, and travelled extensively to disseminate APERC’s research internationally across the 21 APEC economies. While in roles at the Alberta Department of Energy and Environment Canada, Kirsten’s research and analysis was integral to the development of carbon policies for the energy sector at both the provincial and federal level.
Kirsten holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor of Commerce in finance from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of Alberta.
The Paris Agreement included two particularly crucial innovations for supporting greenhouse gas emissions reductions: a voluntary, bottom-up nationally determined contribution (NDC) and a ratchet mechanism.
The Biden administration’s move to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement and lower greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change will, if carried through, lead to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption.