Chair's Lecture with Jim Williams
"Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States"
Jim Williams, Ph.D., Energy and Environmental Economics (E3)
May 13, 2015
Is it possible to deeply reduce carbon emissions in the United States while maintaining a vigorous economy?
Dr. Jim Williams will present results from a recent study by Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that assesses the technical and economic feasibility of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It is based on detailed sector by sector, region by region, year by year analysis of the infrastructure changes, technology requirements, and costs of a low carbon transition. The work was sponsored by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, an international collaboration of research teams from the 15 largest GHG emitting nations, who are developing long-term scenarios for decarbonization in their own countries.
This project aims to bring momentum to the climate dialogue by providing decision makers a more concrete understanding of what limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius would mean for their countries, states, and businesses. In parallel with the US analysis, Dr. Williams and the E3 team used a similar modeling framework to evaluate options for 2030 GHG emission targets for California. The results of this work were presented in a recent Air Resources Board webinar, and are available online at E3.
Jim Williams, Ph.D., is Chief Scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), the San Francisco consulting firm and thought leader on energy and climate policy. Dr. Williams has consulted on many aspects of energy technology, planning, and regulation for government, utility, and industry clients. In 2007, he led E3's analysis for California state agencies on GHG reduction strategies, which became a key input into the AB32 Scoping Plan. He was lead author of a seminal 2012 article in Science that analyzed California's path to an 80% GHG reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. Dr. Williams was until recently Associate Professor of International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where his research interests included the technical and institutional challenges of decarbonizing China's power sector. He received his B.S. in Physics from Washington and Lee University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Chair of the California Air Resources Board invites guests to speak on environmental subjects involving air pollution and global warming. Find additional lectures on the Chair's Lecture Series webpage.