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The Precourt Institute for Energy is part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

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Energy Seminar: Danny Cullenward & David Victor, Making Climate Policy Work

Precourt Institute for Energy

Event Details:

Monday, January 25, 2021
4:00pm - 4:50pm PST

For decades, the world’s governments have struggled to move from talk to action on climate. Many now hope that growing public concern will lead to greater policy ambition, but the most widely promoted strategy to address the climate crisis – the use of market-based programs – hasn’t been working and isn’t ready to scale.

In a new book, Danny Cullenward and David Victor show how the politics of creating and maintaining market-based policies render them ineffective nearly everywhere they have been applied. Reforms can help around the margins, but markets’ problems are structural and won’t disappear with increasing demand for climate solutions. Facing that reality requires relying more heavily on smart regulation and industrial policy – government-led strategies – to catalyze the transformation that markets promise, but rarely deliver.

Speaker bios




Danny Cullenward is Policy Director at CarbonPlan and a lecturer at Stanford Law School. He is an energy economist and lawyer working on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy. He holds a JD from Stanford Law School and a PhD in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) from Stanford University, where he earned his MS in Management Science & Engineering and a BS with Honors in Earth Systems.

David Victor is a professor of industrial organization and innovation at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He is a director of the campus-wide Deep Decarbonization Initiative, which focuses on real world strategies for bringing the world to nearly zero emissions of warming gases. Victor is also an adjunct professor in Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a professor (by courtesy) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, Victor was a professor at Stanford Law School where he taught energy and environmental law. He is also co-Chair of The Brookings Institution’s Initiative on Energy and Climate.

His research focuses on regulated industries and how regulation affects the operation of major energy markets and their impact on the climate. Victor authored "Global Warming Gridlock," which explains why the world hasn't made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. The book was recognized by The Economist as one of the best books of 2011.

Victor was a convening lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-sanctioned international body with Global Future Council on Energy, where his work focuses on the role of natural gas as a 195 country members that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s transition fuel to deep decarbonization as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

His Ph.D. is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and A.B. from Harvard University.

Admission Info

Free and open to all.

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