Investing in Innovation to Implement the Paris Climate Agreement: Enabling Public-Private Partnerships in Clean Energy Technology

Published on: 2016-04-07


This seminar is co-organised by Civic Exchange, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s (HKUST) Institute for Public Policy, and HKUST IEMS.


Interested parties can preregister for the event here.

Abstract / Seminar Summary

Addressing climate change requires advanced low-carbon energy technologies. At the Paris Climate Change Conference, twenty countries including China and the United States, agreed to double funding for research and development of clean energy technologies by 2020. Dubbed “Mission Innovation,” their pledge was supported by the “The Breakthrough Energy Coalition” of 27 billionaires committing to invest patient, flexible risk capital for projects which will provide the economic proof points necessary for the mainstream market-driven clean energy economy required for our planetary future.

A crucial aspect of Mission Innovation will be international coordination, as countries navigate incentives to cooperate and fight climate change as well as those to compete for national returns on public investments.

In this seminar, Dr. Varun Sivaram will articulate the major objectives of international partnerships to invest in clean energy technology, review recent progress—especially between the United States and China—and make recommendations for how the world can best leverage the political will displayed in Paris.

About the Speaker

Dr. Varun Sivaram is the Douglas Dillon fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an advisor to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). He is a member of the advisory boards for both the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy. Before joining the Council, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Dr Sivaram has published widely and is a Truman and a Rhodes Scholar. He holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University. He lives in Washington, DC.

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