Anyone who believes bumper sticker solutions can reconcile today’s global energy and environmental challenges should be humbled after hearing this talk. Based on her forthcoming book with Scott Valentine and Benjamin Sovacool, Dr. Brown will offer a sobering analysis of the complicated challenges, tradeoffs, and opportunities involved in transitioning globally to a renewable energy future. The U.S., in particular, is finding it difficult to reset its energy system, at a time when fossil fuels are so abundant and cheap.
The good news is that renewable technologies are more affordable than ever, and radical solutions for improving energy efficiency are becoming cost-competitive. Cities, companies and citizens across the globe are strengthening their commitment to sustainable practices and addressing climate change. Hotter summers, rising sea levels, forest fires, and climate extremes are beginning to persuade the most recalcitrant voyeurs that something is amiss.
But there are forces that resist change. New policies and new business models are needed to mobilize and accelerate the transition to clean energy options. At the same time, we must keep issues of energy and climate justice front and center, particularly when public resources are being deployed. As you will hear, Empowering the Great Energy Transition takes up these themes and more.