Columbia World Projects Holds Forum on Decarbonization

September 17, 2019

Columbia World Projects (CWP), an initiative that uses university research to tackle global challenges and positively affect people’s lives, on Tuesday held a Forum meeting on decarbonization, inviting around 30 experts to develop ideas for projects that CWP can implement to help mitigate global warming.

The Forum meeting, the sixth of its kind organized by CWP, is a day-long event in which experts from both inside and outside the university come together to develop ideas for projects focused on a specific challenge. Ahead of the meeting, a group of Forum Participants work with CWP staff to develop ideas for projects that CWP could implement to address an aspect of the challenge. On the day of the meeting, after discussing the topic broadly, Forum participants evaluate those project ideas, and indicate which projects they believe have the greatest potential for impact on the challenge, are plausible, and are an area where a university can offer unique value. Past Forum topics include disaster preparedness, access to energy, cybersecurity and maternal health. The first projects to emerge from a Forum meeting (the 2018 Forum on Energy Access) will be announced this fall.

Participants in Tuesday’s meeting included leading experts on decarbonization from inside and outside of Columbia University: Experts from Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Earth Institute as well as participants from government, think-tanks, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Participants considered projects in several categories: Decarbonization of buildings, breakthrough technologies in storage, materials and capture; transportation and infrastructure; tracking and measuring emissions to change practice; and policy innovation.

All of the project proposals considered would bring together partners from inside and outside of academia and aim to achieve a measurable impact within five years. A report detailing the topics of discussion and which projects will move into the next phase of development will be published to this website in the coming weeks.