Daniel Kammen, who serves the U. S. Secretary of State as an Energy and Climate Fellow, serves as a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 2013, the World Bank pledged to stop loaning money for new coal energy projects, unless no financially feasible alternatives exist. President Obama has said the same for the United States, in a 2013 speech: “I’m calling for an end of public financing for new coal plants overseas—unless they deploy carbon capture technologies, or there’s…

Comments Off on A Clean Climate Must Be a Consumer Commodity

The United Nations Climate Summit taking place here in New York is, of course, a venue for important scientific releases highlighting the now well-established consensus on both the economic and social severity of inaction on global warming.  These statements will bolster thoughtful proposals to move nations to a common ground on a framework for action.…

Co-authored with Dr. Michael Mann Winston Churchill saw the gathering storm long before the rest of the world. Europe sacrificed millions of people before it openly acknowledged and then directly confronted the crisis. Yet, even after the Allies responded, the outcome was uncertain. Only when the U.S. entered the fray could the Allies see a…

Comments Off on Hurricane Sandy Is Ushering in a Smarter Power System

It’s ironic that a storm whose widespread blackouts left millions of Americans in the dark is finally helping us see the light.

Hurricane Sandy brought devastation and loss to the Eastern seaboard. The storm exposed the severe vulnerability of our electricity infrastructure and made global headlines as a harbinger of nature’s impacts in a climate changed world.

Comments Off on Three “Next Steps” for California Climate Action

California enacted its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) in 2006. Since then, an entire network of interacting, mutually-reinforcing legislation  has evolved in the state,  historic in how the different measures support one another. A solar roof mandate (one million by 2020)  augments  an electric vehicle mandate (also one million in 2020), while both bolster  a…

Last year President Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than two-thirds of the population is without electricity.  In a parallel move, the House Foreign Affairs Committee leadership introduced the Electrify Africa Act to encourage access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  Since then, there has been…

Our cities have the potential to be a key climate change solution. Already they are hot-beds of innovation in local and global approaches to the nexus of sustainability and quality of life.  People who live in cities drive less, use less energy to heat, cool, and light their homes, and even their water and sewer…

In the poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost asserted that “good fences make good neighbors.”  World history is replete with foreign policy built around physical walls, from Emperor Hadrian, to the Great Wall of China, to the Berlin Wall, the wall between Palestine and Israeli, to the U.S.-Mexico border.  Containment and isolation have often been the…

Everyone who works on energy futures – myself included – spends a great deal of time envisioning and then evaluating the scientific, technical, policy, and behavioral factors needed to initiate and sustain these shifts. We recently completed a study of what it would take in western North America to expand the deployment of solar power…

  Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now famous comment, “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste,” could not have been more true of Hurricane Sandy, which was a harbinger of the costly destructive power of climate change.  Sandy made clear that willful ignorance of climate science and inaction is simply…