Getting to Net-Zero: Climate Challenges and Solutions

  • Date: February 21, 2020, Free Pizza served at 11:30am, talk starts 11:45am
  • Location: Ford School of Public Policy, Betty Ford Classroom (1110)
  • Cost: Free and open to the public


Climate change is back on the national agenda with hearings, bills introduced, candidates’ plans, and discussion of a Green New Deal. Many policymakers are embracing the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Vigorous debates are occurring over questions including:

  • Can renewables supply 100% of US electricity? 100% of all energy?
  • What role should existing nuclear plants play in a clean energy economy? New nuclear plants?
  • What role should carbon capture and storage play?
  • How fast should the US aim to transition to 100% clean energy? What are the key policy levers that could achieve this?
  • What roles should states, cities, and companies play in the clean energy transition?

Analysis and modeling of clean energy pathways can throw light on these questions. Everyone in the climate/energy policy community should understand how assumptions regarding the availability, performance, and integration of various technologies drive the energy, environmental and economic implications of pathways to deep reductions in emissions. Implications for energy policy and R&D portfolios are also critical.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Karl Hausker leads analysis and modeling of climate mitigation, electricity market design, and the social cost of carbon. He led the Risky Business study of clean energy scenarios for the U.S., and lectures widely on deep decarbonization. He has led climate policy analysis and modeling projects for USAID, USEPA, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Western Climate Initiative, and the California Air Resources Board. Much of his work has focused on the energy and transportation sectors, and on low carbon, climate resilient development strategies. From 2007-2013, Karl was a Vice President at ICF International. His experience also includes: serving President Clinton as Deputy Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Policy Office where he represented EPA in interagency climate policy development and at COP-1; and serving as the Chief Economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on a diverse set of issues including electricity restructuring, CAFE standards, alternative fuels, western water policy, nuclear power, and energy security. Karl holds an M.P.P and Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell University.

8th Conference on Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemistry and Polymers

Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) as a fast-moving, environmental- and industry-driven innovation area has attracted more and more stakeholders. Several start-ups and established companies already launched CO2-based products or efficient utilisation technologies and even more players show their interest in getting involved in this field. Increasingly, they are planning and implementing more pilot, demonstration and commercial plants for Power-to-X, low carbon fuels and a CO2-based chemistry. This is also stimulated by the improved political framework for CCU: the new version of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), which will apply from 2020, opens the doors for all CO2-basedfuels, including the use of industrial off-gases for all types of advanced fuels. There are also political discussions how to include the CO2utilisation in the Emission Trading System (ETS).

At the “8thConference on Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemistry and Polymers”, new and leading players will showcase new and improved applications that use CO2 as feedstock. Main topics of the conference are the political framework, renewable energy and hydrogen production, carbon capture technologies, CO2-based fuels for transport and aviation, chemicals and polymers, mineralisation and new developed technologies for CO2utilisation.