Advancing the energy
transition through innovation
The global energy crisis of the last year has had a profound effect in bringing energy security and energy transition issues to the forefront of the public conversation in Europe. From record high energy prices for consumers, to the rationing of fuels for industries and businesses, the effects of the crisis have been felt across the continent.
As this year’s annual Munich Security Report explains, Europe’s unquestioning reliance on Russia energy supply was based on two key assumptio...
Harvard Kennedy School Professor Hausmann recently published an article on “Green Growth Opportunities” according to which the world’s present rush to decarbonize poses an enormous opportunity for emerging market economies on which to capitalize and build up supply chains critical to the transition. And this momentum has already arrived. Based on a 2020 World Bank ...
With the Biden-Harris administration announcing the US’s return to the Paris Agreement in early 2021, US leadership on climate change seems back on track. On one side, the US hosted the Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021, reinitiated high-level US-China climate dialogue after a brief hiatus, and exercised convening power at G20 and COP. On the policy side, the nation submitted an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 – a breakthrough federal law channeling investments into domestic clean energy production. In all accounts, a paradigm shift reviving American leadership on climate is underway, despite rising challenges i...
The responsibility of addressing climate change is not
limited to the public sector. Climate responsibility extends to substate and
non-state actors. The private sector also has a significant role in addressing
climate change and taking action to mitigate its impacts. I witnessed the
increasing trend of climate action by private companies and funds recently on a
Harvard CEEPIC trek to Silicon Valley in California. We met tech companies,
venture funds at different stages, and investment bankers on this visit.
A common theme in the discussions we had was the collective focus on integrating climate change and environmental issues into financial decision-making. They...
Silicon Valley Trek: Lessons from Climate Leaders for South Africa's Just Energy Transition
The Silicon Valley Trek organized by the Climate, Energy, & Environment Professional Interest Council (CEEPIC) at the Harvard Kennedy School provided a transformative experience for exploring the intersection of climate innovation and emerging markets. With a particular focus on South Africa's Just Energy Transition, this trek aimed to gain insights from climate leaders in California. In this blog post, we will delve into the key lessons learned from the trek, highlighting the importance of talent and ecosystems, the diverse finance landscape in climate tech, the role of public policy, and the valuable perspectives shared by industry experts....
At the Department of Energy (DOE) we got to
hear from a range of speakers from various teams including International
Affairs, Loan Programs Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). We also got to hear
from Deputy Secretary David Turk and Erin Moore who is the Chief Human Capital
One theme that kept coming up across all the offices that came to talk to us was recent legislation that has passed in the US that will help us meet our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the Paris Agreement. Between the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce...
Big Tech Driving Demand In 2021, big tech giants (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and their subsidiaries) contributed approximately a quarter of the $37B in venture funding that poured into climate tech, as per Statista. At Microsoft, we learned from the Senior Director of Energy Strategy about the company's plan to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2025. In fiscal Year 2022, they signed new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) around the globe to procure 13.5 GW of carbon-free energy. Additionally, on May 10th, they signed a PPA with a nuclear fusion startup Helion Energy in 2028. To make the rapid data center expansion — propelled by exponential AI development — comp...
At the center of the Biden administration’s international climate
policy agenda is the Office for
the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC). Created in January 2021
to restore American climate leadership on the world stage and further global
climate ambition, SPEC has served as the principal office for U.S. engagement
with international partners on climate change.
Increasingly, this engagement has extended beyond nation-states to include corporations. This shift in strategy to include businesses as a critical component of U.S. climate dipl...
Recently, I had the opportunity to join the
Climate Trek to Washington DC organized by the Harvard Kennedy School CEEPIC
Club. During our two days in DC, we spoke with climate experts from various government
agencies, think tanks, and international organizations, where they shared their
latest views on U.S. climate policy and the broader climate transition globally.
Together with 30+ HKS students interested in climate policies, it was
refreshing to leave the academic environment in Cambridge/Boston temporarily
and interact with policy practitioners on the ground.
Throughout the trip, three shifts stood out to me:
Just five years ago, only 4% of all public and private climate finance (estimated in USD500 bi) was flowing into the adaptation bucket. Last year, the World Bank broke a record of ‘climate-related investments’ totaling USD 31.7 bi - a 19% increase from previous year, - and very close to reach adaptation/mitigation parity, with 49% of the resources invested in adaptation. But despite the advances, UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022 shows that funding adaptation will take from five to ten times more resources as 2020 adaptation investment level of USD 29bi. The parochial framing that merely increasing the share of adaptation share is narrow-minded. Adaptation cannot...
For second-year Master of Public Policy students at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the spring semester comes with high expectations and internal pressure; it is the time to look for a job post-graduation. Thus, I decided to go on the CEEPIC (Climate, Energy, and Environment Professional Interest Council) trip to Washington DC for three main reasons:
- Networking and learning about job opportunities in the climate field in DC;
- Getting to know other HKS students passionate about climate and energy;
- Seeing DC and getting to know the city for the very first time!
On February 2, 2023, we (the HKS CEEPIC DC Trek) had the unique opportunity to visit the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and have a conversation with Vivek Pathak,IFC Director, Global Head Climate Business as well as several of his colleagues.
The IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. Together with the IBRD, IDA, MIGA, and ICSID, the IFC forms the World Bank Group (WBG). Headquartered in Washington, DC, and with operations in over 100 countries, the IFC has invested more than $321 billion in emerging markets and developing economies with the aim of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosp...
A true highlight of our trip to Washington DC was visiting the World Resource Institute. We had the privilege of meeting with the Global Director of WRI’s Energy Program, and were excited to hear about the impactful work the Program has done – as well as what is envisioned for the future. WRI is a global research organization comprised of over 1,700 experts working across 60+ countries. The Institute works with a range of stakeholders, from governments and multilateral institutions to civil society groups and business. A key part of WRI’s mission is to “Make Big Ideas Happen”. Over the course of this visit we had the chance to better understand what some of those big ideas are, and how th...
The world has recently experienced a series of unprecedented climate disasters, including droughts, flooding, and searing heatwaves accompanied by record-high temperatures. Examples include the worst drought in 1,200 years in the Southwest U.S., and the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom. (The eight hottest temperatu...
What is ESG Investing?
ESG is the abbreviation for Environmental, Social, and Governance, “and refers to the three key factors when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a business or company.” Many socially responsible investors use these non-financial factors when analyzing and evaluating companies, including to note any possible ESG violations and determine additional areas and opportunities where its principles can be applied. Although companies increasingly disclose information in their annual reports or in a separate...
· Between 2010 and 2020, the average lithium-ion battery pack price fell 89% to $137/kWh. BNEF’s analysis suggests that battery prices are on track to fall to $58/kWh by 2030
The world is at the cusp of an e-mobility revolution. The IEA projects that by the year 2030, under its sustainable development scenario, 45 million electric vehicles will be sold across the globe. To provide perspective, in 2019, there were just 2.1 million electric vehicles sold. That’s a projected 2000% increase in just eleven years.
What Energy and Climate Provisions are in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022?
Democrats in the United States Senate have agreed on the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“The Act”). The Act provides $369 billion to combat climate change.