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Project Information

Project Information


Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions


Project Scope:

Building off the needs identified at the Deployment of Deep Decarbonization Technologies workshop in July 2019, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc consensus committee to assess the technological, policy, social, and behavioral dimensions to accelerate the decarbonization of the U.S. economy. The focus is on emission reduction and removal of CO2, which is the largest driver of climate change and the greenhouse gas most intimately integrated into the U.S. economy and way of life. The scope of the study is necessarily broad and takes a systemic, cross-sector approach. The committee will summarize the status of technologies, policies, and societal factors needed for decarbonization and recommend research and policy needs. It will focus its findings and recommendations on near and mid-term (5-20 years) high- value policy improvements and research investments and approaches required to put the United States on a path to achieve long-term net zero emissions. This consensus study will also provide the foundation for a larger Academies’ initiative on Deep Decarbonization.The committee will produce an interim report and a final report. The interim report will provide an assessment of no regrets policies, strategies, and research directions that provide benefits across a spectrum of low carbon futures. The final report will assess a wider spectrum of technological, policy, social, and behavioral dimensions of deep decarbonization and their interactions. Specific questions that will be addressed in the final report include the following:
• Sectoral interactions and systems impacts—How do changes in one sector (e.g., transportation) impact other sectors (e.g., electric power) and what positive and negative systems level impacts arise through these interactions; how should the understanding of sectoral interactions impact choices related to technologies and policies? 
• Technology research, development, and deployment at scale—What are the technological challenges and opportunities for achieving deep decarbonization, including in challenging activities like air travel and heavy processing; what research, development, and demonstration efforts can accelerate the technologies; how can financing and capital effectively support decarbonization; what are key metrics for tracking progress in deployment and scale up of technologies and key measurements for tracking emissions?
• Social, institutional, and behavioral dimensions—What are the societal, institutional, behavioral, and equity drivers and implications of deep decarbonization; how do the impacts of deep decarbonization differ across states, regions, and urban versus rural areas and how can equity issues be identified and the uneven distribution of impacts be addressed; and what is the role of the private sector in achieving emissions reductions, including companies influence on their external supply chains; what are the economic opportunities associated with deep decarbonization; and what are the workforce and human capital needs?
• Policy coordination and sequencing at local, state, and federal levels—What near-term policy developments at local, state, and federal levels are driving decarbonization; how can policies be sequenced to best achieve near, medium, and long-term goals; and what synergies exist between mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and economic development?
The study will coordinate with and leverage other efforts within the Academies and outside groups that cover energy technologies, innovation, science, behavior, and policy. The committee will have expertise across engineering, policy, social and behavioral sciences, economics, and the physical sciences.

Status: Current

PIN: DEPS-BEES-19-01

Project Duration (months): 20 month(s)

RSO: Holmes, John


Parent Project(s): N/A


Child Project(s): N/A



Geographic Focus:
North America

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 05/24/2021

Stephen W. Pacala - (Chair)
Stephen W. Pacala is the Frederick D. Petrie Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He directs the Carbon Mitigation Initiative, an effort to develop solutions to the greenhouse warming problem. Steve is also a founder and Chairman of the Board of Climate Central, a nonprofit media organization focusing on climate change. He chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration, which released its report in 2018. His research covers a wide variety of ecological and mathematical topics with an emphasis on interactions between greenhouse gases, climate and the biosphere. Dr. Pacala has an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1978 and a Ph. D. in biology from Stanford University in 1982. He serves on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and Hamilton Insurance Group. Among his many honors are the David Starr Jordan Prize and the George Mercer Award of the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Pacala is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Danielle Deane-Ryan
Danielle Deane-Ryan is an independent consultant, climate and clean energy equity expert, and diversity champion who has devoted the past two decades to forging equitable solutions to climate change. Most recently Danielle served as director of the Inclusive Clean Economy Program at The Nathan Cummings Foundation where she stewarded over 20% of the annual grantmaking and co-authored the recent Solar with Justice report in collaboration with the Clean Energy States Alliance. Danielle served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor for External Affairs and Acting Director for Stakeholder Engagement at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Prior, she held roles at The Raben Group, serving as Green 2.0’s founding executive director; the Hewlett Foundation, where she ran the New Constituencies for the Environment Program; and served on the National Academies of Sciences Gulf Research Program’s Advisory Board. Danielle has an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics in environment and development, and a B.A. from Williams College in political economy with an environmental studies concentration. She was awarded a 2019 Bicentennial Medal by Williams College for her work to advance environmental justice. She is originally from Trinidad & Tobago.
Alexandra Fazeli
Alexandra "Sandy" Fazeli leads the National Association of State Energy’s (NASEO) policy and program priorities coordination; workforce development; equity, access, and inclusion; and state and local cooperation and coordination on energy, climate, and resilience planning. She oversees NASEO’s private sector Affiliates program, which connects state energy policy makers, companies, and non-profits, and helps lead the content development of NASEO’s major conferences and events. She serves on the City of Minneapolis Community Environmental Advisory Commission and Advisory Board of the CAES Energy Policy Institute at Boise State University. Prior to NASEO, Ms. Fazeli worked on energy efficiency and state policy issues at the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Colorado Energy Office, and the Alliance to Save Energy. She received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a Master of Development Practice from the University of Denver.

Julia H. Haggerty
Julia Haggerty is Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University, where she holds a joint appointment in the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. She received her BA from Colorado College in Liberal Arts and her PhD from the University of Colorado in History. An award-winning teacher, Haggerty teaches courses in human, economic and energy resource geography at MSU. She also leads the Resources & Communities Research Group in studying the ways rural communities respond to shifting economic and policy trajectories, especially as they involve natural resources. Haggerty has expertise in diverse rural geographies including those shaped by energy development, extractive industries, ranching and agriculture, and amenity development and conservation. Partnerships and collaboration with diverse stakeholders are central to her approach. Prior to joining MSU, Haggerty was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand (2005-2007) and a Policy Analyst with Headwaters Economics in Bozeman, Montana (2008-2013). Haggerty speaks frequently to public audiences about her research and has served on a number of boards and advisory committees from local to international scales.
Chris T. Hendrickson
Christopher T. Hendrickson (NAE) is the Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Director of the Traffic 21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, chair of the TRB Division Committee and Editor-in-Chief of the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering Part A (Systems). His research, teaching and consulting are in the general area of engineering planning and management, including transportation systems, design for the environment, system performance, construction project management, finance and computer applications. Central themes in his work are a systems wide perspective and a balance of engineering and management considerations. He has co-authored eight books and published numerous articles in the professional literature. Prof. Hendrickson has been the recipient of the Council of University Transportation Centers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020), the ARTBA Steinburg Award (2019), the Faculty Award of the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association (2009), Turner Lecture Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers (2002), the Fenves Systems Research Award from the Institute of Complex Engineering Systems (2002). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Construction (2014), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007), a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (2007) and an Emeritus Member of the Transportation Research Board (2004). He earned bachelor‘s and M.S. degrees from Stanford University, an M.Phil. degree in economics from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Adrienne L. Hollis
Adrienne Hollis is both an environmental toxicologist and an environmental attorney. She has more than 20 years of experience in the environmental justice and public health arena. First, by working in the federal system as a section chief at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, where she worked on developing public health assessments for Superfund sites. Later, she served as an associate professor in the Institute of Public Health at Florida A&M University, where she developed the Environmental and Occupational Health track. After law school, she worked as a law clerk in both the New Jersey District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Dr. Hollis has also worked as a project attorney at Earthjustice and as the Director of Federal Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Currently, she is the Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). In that position, she works at the intersection of public health, environmental justice and climate change and leads the work on methods for accessing and documenting the health impacts of climate change on communities of color and other traditionally disenfranchised groups. She works with environmental justice communities to identify priority health concerns related to climate change and other environmental assaults and evaluate climate and energy policy approaches for their ability to effectively address climate change and benefit underserved communities. She is a professorial lecturer at the Milken School of Public Health in the Environmental and Occupational Health Program and an adjunct professor of Law at New York University Law School where she co-teaches an Environmental Justice seminar.
Jesse Jenkins
Jesse Jenkins is an assistant professor at Princeton University with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He is an energy systems engineer with a focus on the rapidly evolving electricity sector, including the transition to zero-carbon resources, the proliferation of distributed energy resources, and the role of electricity in economy-wide decarbonization. Jesse’s research focuses on improving and applying optimization-based energy systems models to evaluate low-carbon energy technologies, policy options, and robust decisions under deep uncertainty. Jesse completed a Ph.D. in engineering systems and M.S. in technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in computer and information science at the University of Oregon. He worked previously as a postdoctoral Environmental Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a researcher at the MIT Energy Initiative, the Director of Energy and Climate Policy at the Breakthrough Institute, and a Policy and Research Associate at Renewable Northwest.
Roxanne Johnson
Roxanne Johnson established and currently directs the research department at the BlueGreen Alliance (BGA), a national coalition of labor unions and environmental groups working to build a stronger, fairer economy. In her current role, she leads BGA’s research efforts to understand job creation opportunities in the clean economy. Her team is responsible for conducting manufacturing and policy research in industries such as wind and solar energy, energy efficiency, advanced vehicles, and infrastructure. Her previous work at the Great Plains Institute focused on communicating model results showing potential impacts of energy and transportation policy. Ms. Johnson earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Environmental Studies from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. She also earned an M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Timothy C. Lieuwen
Timothy C. Lieuwen, NAE, serves as executive director of the Strategic Energy at the Institute at Georgia Technology. He is also a Regents’ Professor and the David S. Lewis, Jr. Chair in the School of Aerospace Engineering. He is also founder and chief technology officer of TurbineLogic, an analytics firm working in the gas turbine industry. Dr. Lieuwen is an international authority on gas turbine technologies, both from a research and development perspective and from a field/operational perspective. He has authored or edited four books, including the textbook Unsteady Combustor Physics. He has also authored 350 other publications and received four patents, all of which are licensed to the gas turbine industry. He is editor-in-chief of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIAA) Progress book series. He is also past chair of the Combustion, Fuels, and Emissions Technical Committee of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has served as associate editor of Combustion Science and Technology, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, and AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power. He is a fellow of ASME and AIAA, and a recipient of the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, ASME’s George Westinghouse Gold Medal, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and various best paper awards. Board positions include appointment by the Secretary of Energy to the National Petroleum Counsel, board of governors of Oak Ridge National Lab, and board member of the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute. He has also served on a variety of federal review and advisory committees. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. He has served on the Academies’ Review of NASA Test Flight Capabilities and the Decadal Survey of Aeronautics.
Vivian E. Loftness
Vivian Loftness is a University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author, and educator with over thirty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future. She has served on ten National Academy of Science (NAS) panels, the NAS Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment and has given four Congressional testimonies on sustainability. Vivian is recipient of the National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students and the Sacred Tree Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). She received her B.S. and M.S. in Architecture from MIT and served on the National Boards of the USGBC, AIA Committee on the Environment, Green Building Alliance, Turner Sustainability, and the Global Assurance Group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She is a registered architect and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Carlos E. Martín
Carlos Martín leads the Urban Institute’s Built Environment practice area, including Urban’s climate adaptation research agenda, its studies on housing and migration in relation to climate for the U.S. National Academies’ Gulf Research Program, and the multi-year, global evaluation of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities. He was also part of a core team of researchers looking at the policy and practical methods for assessing equity in energy programs. Trained as an architect, construction engineer, and historian of technology, Dr. Martín connects the bricks and mortar of housing to social and economic outcomes of occupants, especially at the intersections of environment, energy, and housing with racial equity and income disparity. For over 20 years, he has led evaluation, research, and policy analysis for federal, state, and civil-sector entities in the fields of energy efficiency, housing construction and design, climate mitigation and adaptation, and energy and environmental justice. Before Urban, Martín was assistant staff vice president for construction codes and standards at the National Association of Home Builders, SRP professor for energy and the environment at Arizona State University, and coordinator for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing. He received his BSAD in architecture from MIT and MEng and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford.
Michael A. Méndez
Michael Méndez is an assistant professor of environmental policy and planning at the University of California, Irvine. He previously was the inaugural James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies and Associate Research Scientists at the Yale School of the Environment. Dr. Méndez has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, and as vice chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Méndez to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board regulates water quality in a region of 11 million people. During his time at UC Irvine and Yale, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a participant of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s workgroup on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.” Dr. Méndez is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS), and is on the board of directors of the social justice nonprofit, Alliance for a Better Community. He also serves as a panel reviewer for the National Academies of Sciences’ Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). Dr. Méndez holds three degrees in environmental planning and policy, including a PhD from UC Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning, and a graduate degree from MIT. His research on the intersection of climate change and communities of color has been featured in national publications including Urban Land (published by the Urban Land Institute); the Natural Resources Defense Fund Annual Report; the American Planning Association’s Planning Magazine; Green 2.0: Leadership at Work; USA Today; and Fox Latino News. His new book “Climate Change from the Streets,” published through Yale University Press (2020), is an urgent and timely story of the contentious politics of incorporating environmental justice into global climate change policy.
Clark A. Miller
Clark A. Miller is Professor and Director of the Center for Energy & Society at Arizona State University. He leads sustainability research for the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Engineering Research Center. He also serves as a member of the steering committee of LightWorks, ASU’s university-wide sustainable energy initiative. Dr. Miller’s current research focuses on the human and social dimensions of energy transitions, including the social value of distributed renewable energy systems; strategies for addressing poverty and inequality through energy innovation; the organization of urban and regional energy transitions; and the design and governance of solar energy futures. He is an author or editor of eight books, including The Weight of Light (2019), Designing Knowledge (2018), The Handbook of Science & Technology Studies (2016), The Practices of Global Ethics (2015), Science and Democracy (2015), Nanotechnology, the Brain, and the Future (2013), Arizona’s Energy Future (2011), and Changing the Atmosphere (2001). He has published extensively in the fields of energy policy, science and technology policy, the role of science in democratic governance and international relations, the governance of emerging technologies, and the design of knowledge systems for improved decision-making. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Cornell University.
Jonathan A. Patz
Jonathan Patz is director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair of Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. For 15 years, Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress. In addition to directing the university-­wide Global Health Institute, Patz has faculty appointments in the Nelson Institute, Center for Sustainability & the Global Environment (SAGE) and the Department of Population Health Sciences. He also directs the NSF sponsored Certificate on Humans and the Global Environment (CHANGE). Patz is double board-­certified, earning medical boards in both Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree (1992) from Johns Hopkins University.

Keith Paustian
Keith Paustian is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. A major focus of his work involves modeling, field measurement and development of assessment tools for soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from soils. He has published over 380 journal articles and book chapters. Professional service activities include Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC 2006 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Methods and the IPCC 2003 Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and two National Academy of Science committees (in 2010-11 and 2018-19) related to land use, greenhouse gases and climate change mitigation. He served as a member of the US Carbon Cycle Science Steering Group, which provides expert input to Federal Agencies involved in climate and carbon cycle research. He also served on the Voluntary Carbon Standard Steering Committee for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and on numerous other national and international committees involving climate and carbon cycle research. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, recipient of the Soil Science Society of America’s Outstanding Research Award in 2015, and 2019 winner of the Global Foodshot Groundbreaker Award.
William Pizer
Billy Pizer is a Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research and Policy Engagement at Resources for the Future. He was previously the Susan B. King Professor and senior associate dean for faculty and research at the Sanford School of Public Policy and faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, both at Duke University. His current research examines how we value the future benefits of climate change mitigation, how environmental regulation and climate policy can affect production costs and competitiveness, and how the design of market-based environmental policies can address the needs of different stakeholders. Dr. Pizer has been actively involved in the creation of an environmental program at Duke Kunshan University in China, a collaborative venture between Duke University, Wuhan University, and the city of Kunshan. Before Duke, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2008 to 2011, overseeing Treasury’s role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States. Prior to that, he was a researcher at Resources for the Future for more than a decade. Dr. Pizer has written more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, books, and articles, and holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from Harvard University and a B.S. in physics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Varun Rai
Varun Rai is an Associate Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Energy Systems Transformation Research Group (aka “Rai Group”). His interdisciplinary research – delving with issues at the interface of energy systems, complex systems, decision science, and public policy – focuses on studying how the interactions between the underlying social, behavioral, economic, technological, and institutional components of the energy system impact the diffusion of energy technologies. Over the last 15 years, his research has applied various analytical lenses to study technologies and policies in carbon capture and storage (CCS), fuels cells, oil & gas, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PEVs), and solar photovoltaics (PV). He has presented at several important forums, including the United States Senate Briefings, Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, and Global Economic Symposium, and his research group’s work has been discussed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Bloomberg News, among other venues. He was a Global Economic Fellow in 2009 and holds the Elspeth Rostow Centennial Fellowship at the LBJ School. During 2013-2015 he was a commissioner for the vertically-integrated electric utility Austin Energy. In 2016 the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) awarded him the David N. Kershaw Award and Prize, which “was established to honor persons who, at under the age of 40, have made a distinguished contribution to the field of public policy analysis and management.” He received The Eyes of Texas Excellence Award, also in 2016, for making “noteworthy contributions to the UT community.” Dr. Rai has held the position of the Associate Dean for Research for the LBJ School since September 2017. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
Ed Rightor
Ed Rightor is the director of the Industrial Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). In this role Ed develops and leads the strategic vision for the industrial sector, shapes the research and policy agenda, and convenes stakeholders to accelerate energy efficiency and reductions of GHGs. Prior to joining ACEEE, held several leadership roles at Dow Chemical during his 31 year career. Through 2017, he served as the director of strategic projects in Dow’s Environmental Technology Center. In this role he worked with Dow businesses, operations and corporate groups, to reduce air emissions, waste, freshwater intake, and energy use. He also served as the facilitator of Dow’s Corporate Water Strategy Team, led teams to establish and pursue Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, including the first ever water goal. Working across global industrial associations, he spearheaded a roadmap for the chemical industry on paths to reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In prior roles, he developed GHG and energy reduction options across Dow’s global operations and pursued project funding and implementation. Earlier, he started a new market facing business in the energy sector, led cross-functional teams to optimize processes (six sigma), pioneered technology that led to new materials development, and led teams to troubleshoot production challenges. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from Michigan State University and a bachelor of science in chemistry from Marietta College
Patricia Romero-Lankao
Patricia "Paty" Romero-Lankao joined NREL's Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences in 2018 as a senior research scientist in joint appointment with the University of Chicago's Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, where she is a research fellow. Previously, she was a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Throughout her career, she has developed a considerable body of highly regarded sociological and transdisciplinary research resulting in several research grants and some 135 peer-reviewed publications. Her work primarily focuses on crucial intersections among energy and water systems, mobility, and the built environment in cities around the world. She has developed many innovative methods (e.g., clustering techniques and indices) to examine how inequalities in income, education, and decision-making power across populations relate to the distribution of benefits or negative impacts associated with access to transportation, energy, and related technological innovations (e.g., distributional injustice). She has also developed elicitation tools (e.g., focus groups, fuzzy cognitive maps) to examine the energy and mobility needs of women, elders, the working class, people of color, and other underrepresented groups to inform understanding and management of these needs (e.g., procedural justice). Dr. Romero-Lankao has extensive experience as a sociologist working across disciplines and at the science-policy interface in the United States, Mexico, and many urban locations internationally. Her leadership of international research has garnered a good deal of recognition—she served as co-leading author in a working group contributing to the Nobel Prize-winning Fourth Assessment Report published by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She also serves on the editorial board of Earth's Future and several other journals and on the steering committee of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program.
Devashree Saha
Devashree Saha is a Senior Associate at WRI United States. In this role, she supports state, city, and federal policymakers as they work to develop and implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy. This includes analysis of the economics of climate action, work to develop a new framework for climate federalism that supports and strengthens the partnership between city, state, and federal governments as they work to drive deep emissions reductions, and efforts to advance a fair and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy. Prior to joining WRI, Dr. Saha led the Council of State Government’s (CSG) energy and environmental policy work where she was responsible for directing research and providing policy analysis and technical assistance to state legislators and executive branch officials. Before joining CSG, Dr. Saha worked at the Brookings Institution where her research focused on a wide array of clean energy topics, including examining clean energy innovation trends at the U.S. sub-national level, identifying promising clean energy financing mechanisms, and estimating the employment size, nature and spatial geography of the U.S. clean economy. Earlier in her career, she worked for the National Governors Association, providing governors and their staff with data and guidance on best practices affecting the energy sector. Over her career, she has authored several publications on clean energy that have informed state and city policymaking. Dr. Saha holds a Ph.D in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in political science from Purdue University.
Kelly Sims Gallagher
Kelly Sims Gallagher is Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. She directs the Climate Policy Lab and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Fletcher. From June 2014-September 2015 she served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as Senior China Advisor in the Special Envoy for Climate Change office at the U.S. State Department. Gallagher is a member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and she also serves on the board of the Energy Foundation. Broadly, she focuses on energy innovation and climate policy. She specializes in how policy spurs the development and deployment of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, domestically and internationally. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of Titans of the Climate (The MIT Press 2018), The Global Diffusion of Clean Energy Technologies: Lessons from China (MIT Press 2014), China Shifts Gears: Automakers, Oil, Pollution, and Development (The MIT Press 2006), and dozens of other publications.
Esther S. Takeuchi
Esther Takeuchi, NAE, is a professor at Stony Brook University and a chief scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. She is an energy storage expert who led efforts to invent and refine the lifesaving lithium/silver vanadium oxide (Li/SVO) battery technology, utilized in the majority of today's implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Takeuchi's work was conducted during 22 years at Greatbatch, Inc., a major supplier of pacemaker and ICD batteries. ICD batteries have high energy density with the ability to support intermittent high-power pulses. In addition, they have a long life, are safe, and durable. In Takeuchi's innovation, the cathodes employ two metals, silver and vanadium, rather than just one, allowing for more energy. In addition, the Li/SVO chemistry lets the ICD monitor the level of discharge, allowing it to predict end of service in a reliable manner. Today, over 300,000 ICDs are implanted every year. Raised in Ohio, Takeuchi received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. She joined Greatbatch, Inc. in 1984, and in 2007, she joined the University at Buffalo. Takeuchi has received over 140 U.S. patents and is the recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Susan F. Tierney
Susan Tierney, a Senior Advisor at Analysis Group, is an expert on energy economics, regulation, and policy, particularly in the electric and gas industries. She consults to businesses, government agencies, foundations, tribes, environmental groups, and other organizations on energy markets, economic and environmental regulation and strategy, and climate-related energy policies. She has participated as an expert in civil litigation cases, regulatory proceedings before state and federal agencies, and business consulting engagements. Previously, she served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, and was the Secretary for Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts, Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Council. She co-authored the energy chapter of the National Climate Assessment, and serves on the boards of ClimateWorks Foundation, Barr Foundation, Energy Foundation, Resources for the Future, and World Resources Institute. She taught at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and at the University of California at Irvine, and has lectured at Harvard University, University of Chicago, Yale University, New York University, Tufts University, Northwestern University, and University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s in regional planning at Cornell University and her B.A. at Scripps College.
William Walker
William "Reed" Walker is the Transamerica Professor of Business and Public Policy and Economics at UC Berkeley. His research explores the social costs of environmental externalities such as air pollution and how regulations to limit these externalities contribute to gains and/or losses to society. He is the faculty co-director of UC Berkeley’s Opportunity Lab - Climate and Environment Initiative. He is also a research associate at the Energy Institute at Berkeley and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was a recipient of the Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship and the IZA Young Labor Economist Award. His work has been supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation. He received his PhD in economics from Columbia University.

Committee Membership Roster Comments

Jennifer Wilcox resigned from the committee January 2021.
Colin Cunliff resigned from the committee May 2021.
Adrienne Hollis, Alexandria Fazeli, Carlos Martin, Michael Mendez, Jonathan Patz, Keith Paustian, Patricia Romero-Lankao, Devashree Saha, and William Walker were added to the committee May 2021.


Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

The conflict of interest policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (http://www.nationalacademies.org/coi) prohibits the appointment of an individual to a committee authoring a Consensus Study Report if the individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the task to be performed. An exception to this prohibition is permitted if the National Academies determines that the conflict is unavoidable and the conflict is publicly disclosed. A determination of a conflict of interest for an individual is not an assessment of that individual's actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest.

Michael Méndez has a conflict of interest in relation to his service on the committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, because of his ownership of stock in Tesla Inc., an electric vehicle and clean energy company. The National Academies has concluded that the committee must include a member with current experience working at the state and local levels in the policy-making process focusing on connecting climate change and communities of color, and helping to bring local knowledge, culture, and history into policymaking to address the complexities of climate change.. As his biographical summary makes clear, Dr. Méndez has extensive current experience at the state and local levels, and in linking issues of sustainability, health, and environmental justice into climate change policy. His multifaceted expertise in planning, regulation, legislation, and advocacy uniquely positions him to help the committee evaluate and elucidate the implications of its analysis to impacted communities.

The National Academies has determined that the experience and expertise of Dr. Méndez is needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent expertise and breadth of experience who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies has concluded that the conflict is unavoidable. The National Academies believes that Dr. Mendez can serve effectively as a member of the committee, and the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the study.

Keith Paustian has a conflict of interest in relation to his service on the Committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, because he is the founder and part owner of SoilMetrics, which provides modeling software for estimating agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Dr. Paustian also serves on the Science Advisory Team at Carbon Direct, which works to expand the development of carbon removal technologies. The National Academies has concluded that the committee must include a member with current experience in and understanding of the mitigation measures for reducing agricultural sector emissions, their costs, and their overall potential to contribute to emissions reductions. This topic and specific expertise was identified as a critical need after the publication of the first report from this committee. The committee also requires a member with current direct transdisciplinary experience in the modeling, field measurement, and development of assessment tools for soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from soils. As his biographical summary makes clear, Dr. Paustian has extensive current experience in soil organic matter dynamics, carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural ecosystems, and assessment of agricultural climate change mitigation strategies.

The National Academies has determined that the experience and expertise of Dr. Paustian is needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent expertise and breadth of experience who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies has concluded that the conflict is unavoidable. The National Academies believes that Dr. Paustian can serve effectively as a member of the committee, and the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the study.

Ed Rightor has a conflict of interest in relation to his service on the Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, because he owns shares in Dow Chemical Company and DuPont. The National Academies has concluded that the committee must include a member with current experience in industrial energy efficiency and reductions in GHG, waste, and water use to accomplish the tasks for which it was established. It also requires current direct experience in business strategy, capital fundraising, and market analysis to drive corporate sustainability programs. As his biographical summary makes clear, Dr. Rightor has extensive current experience providing technical and strategic analyses of sustainability, energy-efficiency, and GHG emission reduction for manufacturing industries.

The National Academies has determined that the experience and expertise of Dr. Rightor is needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent expertise and breadth of experience who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies has concluded that the conflict is unavoidable. The National Academies believes that Dr. Rightor can serve effectively as a member of the committee, and the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the study.

Susan Tierney has a conflict of interest in relation to her service on the committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, because she is currently employed by a consulting company (Analysis Group) that provides analyses of energy markets, clean energy regulatory policy, and resource planning and procurement for a broad range of clients (including grid operators, utility and other energy companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, and energy consumers) in the electric and natural gas industries.The National Academies has concluded that in order for the committee to accomplish the tasks for which it was established, it must include a committee member with current and extensive experience in electric power markets, natural gas markets, federal and state regulations, and utility planning processes. As her biographical summary makes clear, Dr. Tierney has extensive current experience providing technical and market analyses for electricity and gas system policy, planning, and operations.

The National Academies has determined that the experience and expertise of Dr. Tierney is needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it has been established. The National Academies could not find another available individual with the equivalent expertise and breadth of experience who does not have a conflict of interest. Therefore, the National Academies has concluded that the conflict is unavoidable. The National Academies believes that Dr. Tierney can serve effectively as a member of the committee, and the committee can produce an objective report, taking into account the composition of the committee, the work to be performed, and the procedures to be followed in completing the study.

Events


Event Type :  
-

Description :   

CO2 is the largest driver of climate change and the greenhouse gas most intimately integrated into the U.S. economy and way of life. This ad hoc committee will examine the status of technologies, policies, and societal factors needed for decarbonization and recommend research and policy needs, focused on the near and midterm (5-20 years). Specific questions that will be addressed by the committee include sectoral interactions and systems impacts; technology research, development, and deployment at scale; social, institutional, and behavioral dimensions, particularly equity; and policy coordination and sequencing at local, state, and federal levels. This meeting is a closed session report planning meeting. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  decarbonization@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
-

Description :   

CO2 is the largest driver of climate change and the greenhouse gas most intimately integrated into the U.S. economy and way of life. This ad hoc committee will examine the status of technologies, policies, and societal factors needed for decarbonization and recommend research and policy needs, focused on the near and midterm (5-20 years). Specific questions that will be addressed by the committee include sectoral interactions and systems impacts; technology research, development, and deployment at scale; social, institutional, and behavioral dimensions, particularly equity; and policy coordination and sequencing at local, state, and federal levels. This meeting is a closed session report planning meeting. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  decarbonization@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Stephen W. Pacala
Danielle Deane-Ryan
Sandy Fazeli
Julia H. Haggerty
Chris T. Hendrickson
Adrienne L. Hollis
Jesse Jenkins
Roxanne Johnson
Timothy C. Lieuwen
Vivian E. Loftness
Carlos Martín
Michael A. Méndez
Clark A. Miller
Jonathan A. Patz
Keith Paustian
William Pizer
Varun Rai
Ed Rightor
Patricia Romero-Lankao
Devashree Saha
Kelly Sims Gallagher
Susan F. Tierney
Reed Walker

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Draft outline and information gathering needs

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
August 24, 2021
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
-

Description :   

The committee will host a discussion with a group of experts focused on just transformation, equity, and environmental justice-related issues relevant to deep decarbonization. The goal of this discussion is to further disseminate the committee's first report, to discuss suggestions for specific policy and other recommendations that would add specificity to address these issues, and to brainstorm thoughts on how the committee’s second report can be the most impactful.



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  decarbonization@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Webcast

Description :   

The committee will host a discussion with a group of experts focused on just transformation, equity, and environmental justice-related issues relevant to deep decarbonization. The goal of this discussion is to further disseminate the committee's first report, to discuss suggestions for specific policy and other recommendations that would add specificity to address these issues, and to brainstorm thoughts on how the committee’s second report can be the most impactful.



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  decarbonization@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

The committee will discuss any potential bias or conflict of interest issues of the newly added committee members, and begin to scope out the study's second report. More details to come. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  decarbonization@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Webinar

Description :   

The world is transforming its energy system from one dominated by fossil fuel combustion to one with net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary anthropogenic greenhouse gas.  This energy transition is critical to mitigating climate change, protecting human health, and revitalizing the U.S. economy.  To help policymakers, businesses, communities, and the public better understand what a net-zero transition would mean for the United States, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee of experts to investigate the technology, policy, and societal dimensions of accelerating decarbonization in the U.S.  

The public briefing webinar on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 from 2-3pm ET on a new report outlined the key technological and socio-economic goals that must be achieved to put the United States on the path to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  During the webinar, members of the committee discussed critical near-term policies needed for the decarbonization effort, including ways to support communities that will be most impacted by the transition.

Watch the recorded webinar here. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
http://usdecarbonization.eventbrite.com

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  rdeboer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

In this third meeting of the committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, the committee will meet in closed session to discuss the structure, content, and goals of the report(s), and will establish a plan for the committee's remaining work.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  rdeboer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

In this second meeting of the committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, the committee will meet in closed session to discuss the structure, content, and goals of the report(s), and will establish a plan for the committee's activities moving forward. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Rebecca DeBoer
Contact Email:  rdeboer@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2421

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-


Location:

National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  
Meeting

Description :   

In this first meeting of the committee on Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions, the committee will discuss bias/conflict of interest in the committee, as well as general composition and balance factors. National Academies staff will provide the committee with information regarding the structure, contnt, and goals of the report(s) they will produce, and will establish a plan for the committee's acitivities moving forward. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
N/A

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
N/A


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  John Holmes
Contact Email:  jholmes@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-2045

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office