A Sectoral Approach to Climate Mitigation: Transportation and Buildings

Tue, 28 Mar 2023 17:00:00 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.

Among the most evident sectors to most consumers, transportation and buildings both involve high expenditures on infrastructure to retrofit extant systems and build new ones. What are the successes and obstacles to date in these sectors? What is needed in these sectors to generate more effective climate mitigation?

  • Sarah Baldwin, Energy Innovation
  • Chris Busch, Energy Innovation
  • Discussant: David Levy, Director of Planning and Zoning, Town of Vienna, VA (confirmed)
  • Moderator: Danielle Wagner, Center for Environmental Policy, School of Public Affairs

Sara Baldwin is the Director of Electrification Policy at Energy Innovation Policy & Technology LLC®, where she leads the firm’s electrification policy practice area to advance economy-wide decarbonization through the electrification of buildings, transportation, and industry. She provides policy analysis and original research to support policymakers at the state, federal, and local levels. She previously served as Vice President of Regulatory for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and as a Senior Policy Associate for Utah Clean Energy. Sara is a member of GridLab’s advisory board and hosts Energy Innovation’s Electrify This! podcast.

Chris Busch is Director, Transportation and Senior Economist at Energy Innovation, where he leads the firm’s Transportation Program and the firm’s carbon market analysis for regions including California and China. Chris previously served as EI’s California lead and in this role, he led development of the California Energy Policy Simulator to strengthen policies in all major sectors, accelerating decarbonization while delivering social and economic benefits worth tens of billions. Chris is an expert in energy economics and carbon pricing policy, and his research accurately predicted the buildup in excess tradeable permits in California’s cap-and-trade program. Chris previously worked for the BlueGreen Alliance, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

David Levy is Director of Planning and Zoning for the Town of Vienna, VA. He has extensive experience both in government and the private sector. Before coming to Vienna, he served as Assistant Director and Chief of Long-Range Planning for the City of Rockville, MD. Previously, he served as Assistant Commissioner for Land Resources in Baltimore’s Department of Housing & Community Development; and as a consultant with both ICF International (a global consulting and technology-services company) and PA Consulting (formerly Hagler Bailly); as Brownfields Project Coordinator for the Baltimore City Department of Planning; and as Special Assistant to the Mayor of Quito, Ecuador. He has been Chair of the Planning Director’s Technical Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Vice President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and of the Urban Land Institute.

Danielle Miller Wagner serves as the Program Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at American University, School of Public Affairs. She brings more than 20 years of experience working with local governments, universities, NGOs and federal agencies to facilitate collaborative solutions to complex environmental challenges. In her current role, Wagner works across the university as well as with a broad array of external stakeholders to research and communicate about data-driven equitable environmental solutions. Prior to joining American University, Danielle served as Program Director of Smart Cities Week, Brownfields Program Manager at ICMA and International Policy Manager at the GLOBE Program, among other positions.