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Columbia Energy Exchange

Re-Run: The Economics of the Energy Transition


Cameron Hepburn

Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford

Getting the global energy system to net-zero – a state in which it emits no more greenhouse gases than it absorbs – means deploying clean energy infrastructure at a pace without historical precedent. The ripple effects of this transition are already apparent in business, geopolitics, and in people’s daily lives.    

Increasing public concern over climate change and breakthroughs in clean energy technology have rendered this challenge more achievable. But turning this momentum into tangible progress will require careful policymaking and implementation, across all levels of government. 

How might the clean energy transition reconfigure the global economy? What levers can policymakers pull to accelerate it? And what emerging solutions are already changing the outlook for net zero?

Today we’re re-running host Jason Bordoff’s interview with Cameron Hepburn about the economics of the climate crisis.

Cameron is a Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford and Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.  He also serves as the Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, based at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. Cameron has over 30 peer-reviewed publications spanning economics, public policy, law, engineering, philosophy, and biology. 

In a summer of both heightened climate ambition and heightened alarm over climate change, this conversation was held in the aftermath of the COP27 climate summit. Jason and Cameron discussed how technology developments are accelerating the energy transition and how to scale their impact.

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