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Leaders all over the world are embracing the goal of “net-zero emissions” by 2050. Vigorous debates are occurring over questions such as:

  • Can renewables supply 100% of US electricity? 100% of all energy?
  • What role should existing nuclear plants play in a net-zero economy? Or new nuclear plants?
  • What role should carbon capture and storage (CCS) play? In the power sector? In reducing industrial emissions? In “negative emission” technologies such as bioenergy with CCS or direct air capture?
  • How fast should the world aim to transition to a net-zero economy? What are the key policy levers that could help achieve this? What are the critical needs for research and development?
  • What roles should states, cities, and companies play in achieving a net-zero economy?

Analysis and modeling of pathways to net-zero can help answer these questions. Everyone in the climate/energy policy community should understand how assumptions regarding the availability, performance, and integration of various technologies shape the answers, and drive the implications for policy choices and for priorities for research and development. 

Dr. Karl HauskerDr. Karl Hausker is a Senior Fellow in WRI’s Climate Program. He leads analysis and modeling of climate mitigation and net-zero pathways; electricity market design; and the social cost of carbon. He led the Risky Business study of clean energy pathways for the U.S., and lectures widely on all these topics . He has worked for more than three decades in the fields of climate change, energy, and environment in a career that has spanned legislative and executive branches, research institutions, NGOs, and consulting. He has led climate policy analysis and modeling projects for USAID, USEPA, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Western Climate Initiative, and the California Air Resources Board. Much of his work has focused on the energy and transportation sectors, and on low-carbon development strategies.

From 2007-2013, Karl was a Vice President at ICF International. He previously served as Deputy Director at the Center for Climate Strategies and as a Principal with Hagler Bailly. Karl lived in India all of 1999 as a Visiting Fellow at TERI. His experience also includes: serving President Clinton as Deputy Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Policy Office where he represented EPA in interagency climate policy development and at COP-1; and serving as the Chief Economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where he worked on a diverse set of issues including electricity restructuring, CAFE standards, alternative fuels, western water policy, nuclear power, and energy security.

Karl holds an M.P.P. and Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cornell University.

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