LESC in NYC: The Scale of Deep Decarbonization

September 20-21, 2017
Faculty House, Columbia University 64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY 10027

Introduction and Background

The second Low-Emissions Solutions Conference (LESC) took place during Climate Week NYC 2017 at Columbia University in New York. LESC is focused on technological developments that can support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It aims to promote problem-solving, brainstorming and global co-creation of multi-sector solutions to address climate change. The solutions are within reach and yet, our targets fall short and our timelines do not align. Most alarmingly, global climate change is still rapidly approaching dangerous tipping points due to the slow pace of implementation.

How do we make these solutions practical and accessible to all? And how do countries around the world access the knowledge, resources and partners they need to realize ambitious nationally determined commitments (NDCs) to reduce emissions?

Working in a three-way partnership, ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have brought together world-leading scientists, engineers and technical experts from business, academia and local government to share knowledge, identify bottlenecks, discuss best practices and prioritize future research. The goal is to identify the potential technologies and pathways for the necessary transformation in each sector.


20 Sep 8:15AM
Registration opens
20 Sep 9:00AM
LESC Partners Welcome

Guido Schmidt-Traub, Director SDSN
Rasmus Valanko, Director Climate & Energy WBCSD

20 Sep 9:15AM
Progress since last year and expectations for COP23

Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation

20 Sep 9:30AM
Conference Expectations and Enel Introduction

Jeffrey Sachs, Director SDSN

20 Sep 9:45AM
Road towards zero emissions: Vision for the future of the energy industry

Francesco Starace, CEO, Enel

20 Sep 10:00AM
Networking Break
20 Sep 10:15AM
Session A - Deep Decarbonization Pathways: Where Do They Lead?

Jim Williams, Associate Professor in Energy Systems, University of San Francisco
Margaret Torn, Professor, U.C. Berkeley


Chris Battaille, Researcher, Simon Fraser University
Daniel Buira, Founder, Tempus Analytica
Noah Kaufman, Economist, WRI
Meg Argyriou, Head of Engagement, ClimateWorks Australia
Grace Wu, PhD Candidate, Energy and Resources Group, U.C. Berkeley and Researcher, Berkeley Lab

20 Sep 12:15PM
20 Sep 1:15PM
Session B - Demand Side Solutions to Renewable Integration: Do They Scale?

Vijay Modi, Professor, Columbia University


Ben Haley, Co-Founder, Energy Evolved Research EER
Greg Geller, Director, Regulatory & Government Affairs, EnerNOC
Dan Steingart, Professor, Princeton

20 Sep 3:15PM
Networking Break
20 Sep 3:30PM
Session C - Renewable Electricity Systems: How High Can We Go?

Angie Fyfe, CEO, ICLEI USA


Elaine Hart, Power analyst, Portland General Electric
Trieu Mai, Senior Energy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Said Mouline, Head of the Moroccan Agency for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Mayor Uy-Tan, Mayor, Catbalogan Samar Province, Philippines
Tor Henrik Andersen, Political Adviser to the Governing Mayor of Oslo, City of Oslo
Jean-Pierre MAUGENDRE, Sustainable Development Deputy Manager, SUEZ

20 Sep 5:30PM
Closing Remarks
21 Sep 9:00AM

H.E. Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, COP22 President, UNFCCC

21 Sep 9:15AM
Session D. Autonomous and Electric Vehicles: On the Road to Deep Decarbonization?

Rasmus Valanko, Director Climate & Energy, WBCSD


Lewis Fulton, Director, Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways, UC Davis ITS
Jason Babbie, Deputy Director, Urban Solutions & Strategic Program Development, NRDC
Doug Kaufman, CEO, Transloc
Corey Ershow, Transportation Policy Manager, Lyft
Jean-Philippe Hermine, Renault VP Environment Strategy & Planning, Renault-Nissan Alliance
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

21 Sep 10:30AM
Session E: Alternative Energy, Nuclear and CCS: What are the Prospects?

William Horak, Chair of the Department of Nuclear Science and Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory


Rachel Slaybaugh, Assistant Professor Nuclear Engineering Dept, UC Berkeley
Lenka Kollar, Director, NuScale Power
Howard Hornfeld, Founder and President Fusion Advocates, Geneva, Switzerland
Klaus Lackner, Director, Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, Arizona State University
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Senior Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Statoil ASA

21 Sep 11:45AM
Closing Remarks

Jeff Sachs, Director, SDSN

21 Sep 12:45PM
Documentary Pre-Screening

Private theatre screening of a new, not yet released, documentary followed by live Q&A with filmmaker David Schumacher. The screening is in the Schapiro/CEPSR building, Davis Auditorium on the 4th floor (campus level), room 412 (10 minute walk from Conference Venue). This part of the program is co-hosted with the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.