In 2018, the global energy landscape continued to undergo transformation and disruption. At the Center on Global Energy Policy, we have worked to deepen understanding of these complexities and uncertainties by bringing together insights into geopolitical risk, government policy, technological innovation, and market dynamics. As the year comes to a close, we want to express our gratitude for the many friends and partners who have been part of this effort and engaged with us in our work over the past year.
Our research in 2018 continued to address many of today’s most timely energy issues, bringing the insights from world-class academic research to equip policymakers, business leaders, and consumers with actionable information to help them make the best decisions about our energy future.
As the urgency of the global climate change challenge becomes ever more evident, we created a Carbon Tax Research Initiative, which has already produced a series of reports assessing the economic, energy, and environmental implications of federal carbon taxes. We have exciting plans to expand this initiative in 2019—stay tuned!
We launched a major new research initiative to study the public policy, financial and economic aspects of carbon management under the leadership of Dr. Julio Friedmann. We published research papers that analyzed the implications of rolling back fuel economy standards, the future of oil demand, the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and more. We are grateful for the collaboration with our extraordinary colleagues across Columbia University on these issues, and were thrilled to welcome Dr. Alex Halliday as the new Director of the Earth Institute this past summer.
As geopolitical risks proliferate, CGEP in 2018 was a leading resource helping explain the implications of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as Russia and other sanctions issues. We produced analysis on key global energy issues from the changing role of OPEC to the new global gas order. And we examined a range of global issues, such as the outlook for trading hubs in the Asian gas market, how U.S. LNG exports have affected Russia’s foreign policy, the role of gas in Europe, the environmental impacts of China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative, and the geopolitical and environmental implications of China’s thirst for natural gas. We took in-depth looks at timely policy issues like the future of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and new pollution rules for maritime fuel.
We published two new books through Center on Global Energy Policy book series: The Art of Sanctions by Richard Nephew and The Fracking Debate by Daniel Raimi. Our next book, Energy Kingdoms: Oil and Political Survival in the Persian Gulf by Jim Krane, will be released in a few weeks. We also published a Guide to Chinese Climate Policy by David Sandalow, summarized here by the New York Times.
We continued to engage deeply with policymakers, from analyzing the first federal carbon pricing proposal by a congressional Republican in a decade to testifying before Congress and submitting formal comments in rulemaking proceedings. Center scholars regularly served as resources to policymakers and reporters, and published in leading outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy.
The Center continued to serve as a leading platform for public dialogue, welcoming a broad range of energy sector leaders to Columbia’s historic campus for public events. This past April, we celebrated our fifth anniversary at our annual Global Energy Summit, featuring many of today’s most senior energy leaders from academia, government, civil society, and industry. Save the date - our next summit is scheduled for April 10, 2019! And our “Where Next on Climate?” speaker series examined the implications of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and regulatory rollback agenda.
Our Columbia Energy Exchange podcast continued to release weekly in-depth conversations with energy sector leaders such as IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Michael Bennet, and industry CEOs Ryan Lance, Patrick Pouyanne, Tom Werner, Meg Gentle, and Anne Pramaggiore.
We convened experts for in-depth workshops around the world, including in New York, London, Paris, Beijing, and Rio de Janeiro, to discuss many of today’s most timely energy and environmental issues.
Our Women in Energy Program organized a wide range of site visits, public lectures, small-group dinners with leading women in the energy sector, and networking events. The Center’s Future Workforce in the Energy Sector workshop was a tremendous success, bringing together academics and private sector leaders to discuss corporate best practices for recruitment and retention of the future workforce.
We hosted a second cohort of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative, which brought an impressive group of more than 20 journalists from six different countries for a week-long seminar on Columbia’s main campus to better prepare and inform their work. This program is one of the many ways CGEP seeks to help develop an informed citizenry and sophisticated level of dialogue on complex energy and environment. We created the program with funding support from our Advisory Board member Jim Rogers, and the year ended on a sorrowful note as we mourned Jim’s passing.
We’re all proud of the Center on Global Energy Policy’s work in 2018, what we have built after five short years, and even more excited about what is to come in the years ahead. As we take a break to enjoy friends and family over the holiday season, all of us at the Center on Global Energy Policy team offer our warmest wishes for a happy holiday and a joyous and healthy new year.
With warmest wishes,
Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs
Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy