State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Putting Biden’s Climate Team in Perspective

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Carol Browner, who spearheaded climate policy for President Barack Obama, is a guest on the latest episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange.

Joe Biden is selecting a large, experienced and diversified team to carry out his ambitious program to address climate change. Among them are John Kerry, the former secretary of state; Gina McCarthy, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency; Jennifer Granholm, once the governor of Michigan; and Deb Haaland, a member of Congress who would be the first Native American named to a president’s cabinet.

In the latest edition of Columbia Energy Exchange — a podcast created by Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy — host Bill Loveless discusses the Biden administration’s climate change goals and his planned appointments with Carol Browner, who spearheaded climate policy for President Barack Obama following his inauguration in 2009.

With a long and distinguished career in environmental and energy policy and regulation at the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House, Carol brings unique insight to the challenges of implementing new policies and the wherewithal that’s needed to make it happen.

Carol now is a senior counselor in the sustainability practice at the Allbright Stonebridge Group, where she advises clients on environmental impact, sustainable strategies, and partnerships. But her roles in government go back some 30 years.

From 2009 to 2011, she was an assistant to President Obama and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, where she oversaw the coordination of environmental, energy, climate, transport and related policy across the federal government.

From 1993 through 2001, she was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, where she adopted the most stringent air pollution standards in U.S. history and set for the first time a clean air standard for fine particulates. Her stint at EPA is the longest ever for an administrator at that agency.

Among the topics that Carol and Bill cover are the challenges the Biden administration faces in fulfilling its sweeping plans to address climate change as well as the roles that his appointments of Kerry, McCarthy, and others will play in that undertaking. They also talk about the outlook for congressional action on climate change at a time when Biden and lawmakers will also be consumed with addressing a pandemic and economic troubles, not to mention the repercussions of President Trump’s impeachment.

Listen here.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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