A Sectoral Approach to Climate Mitigation: The Energy Sector

Tue, 07 Mar 2023 18:00:00 GMT

Analyzing climate change and proposing solutions at the nation-state level can obscure the path forward, as ambition varies widely across countries and can change dramatically as soon as the next election. Furthermore, coordinating the actions of nearly 200 nations (including more than a dozen major emitters) presents its own challenges. Viewing climate solutions as sectoral rather than “national,” may be more productive and give a clearer of how to cut the most emissions in the fastest manner.

This webinar series, sponsored by American University’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) and the not-for-profit think tank Energy Innovation, reframes causes and solutions of climate change as “sectoral” issues.

The energy sector has been the focus of many mitigation efforts to date, as clear alternatives like renewable technologies are readily available and increasingly competitive. Should the energy sector be the highest priority for mitigation strategies? What has been done right and what has been done wrong to date? What sort of changes would enhance energy sector mitigation strategies (particularly as these relate to the energy grid)?

  • Michael O’Boyle, Energy Innovation
  • Michelle Solomon, Energy Innovation
  • Dan Fiorino, Center for Environmental Policy, School of Public Affairs
  • Moderator: Gabriela Siegfried, EPRI

Mike O’Boyle is Energy Innovation’s Director, Electricity. He directs the firm’s Electricity Program, which focuses on designing and quantifying the impacts of policies needed to affordably and reliably decarbonize the U.S. electricity grid. Mike’s expertise includes clean electricity standards, wholesale market design, monopoly utility regulation, and energy efficiency policies.

Michelle Solomon is a Policy Analyst in the Electricity program at Energy Innovation, working to accelerate the transition to a clean and affordable electricity sector in the United States. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, she completed her PhD at Stanford University in Materials Science and Engineering, focusing on nanotechnology. Immediately after graduate school, she was a Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow in the office of Senator Ed Markey, where she worked on all things energy and environment.

Daniel J. Fiorino is the founding Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Fiorino is the author or co-author of seven books and some 60 articles and book chapters, including A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth (Oxford University Press, 2018), Can Democracy Handle Climate Change? (Polity Books, 2018), and Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy (with James Meadowcroft, MIT Press, 2017). MIT Press also published the second edition of Environmental Governance Reconsidered (with Robert F. Durant and Rosemary O’Leary) in 2017.

Gabriella A. Siegfried is a Senior Sustainability Analyst at the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI), Gabriella performs research within the energy sector related to ESG governance/disclosure, corporate social responsibility, and cross-industry benchmarking. While at EPRI, Siegfied has led projects on climate change mitigation through sustainability goal-setting and circular economy metric development for the energy sector. Through AU’s Center for Environmental Policy, where Siegfried worked during her MA program, she conducted research on environmental justice, such as analyzing Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and the Texas Freeze of 2021 from an environmental justice lens.