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Week 2 - Agenda and Presentations

July 23-25, 2018

Week 2 Agenda - Pathways to Low Greenhouse Gas Futures: Challenges and Opportunities

Planning Committee: 

  • John Weyant, Jae Edmonds, Haroon Kheshgi, Bryan Mignone, Steve Rose


Sunday, July 22, 2018

  • Informal planning discussions for Week 1 presentations
  • Registration and Informal Reception at the Gatehouse

Monday, July 23, 2018


Scene Setting: IPCC, IA community activities and other perspectives on energy system transformation

Session 1:  Assessing long-term climate goals

          • What are the lessons from the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C?
          • What is the status of other IA-related projected related to the assessment of long-term climate goals?
          • What are the key research gaps and priorities going into AR6?
          • What are the potential roles for the IA community as well as other communities represented at Snowmass?

Chair: Jae Edmonds

  • IPCC Special Report on 1.5 °C and AR6: Key insights, research gaps and opportunities to inform AR6 (Brief remarks and panel discussion) - Haroon Kheshgi (ExxonMobil)
  • Scenarios In WGIII AR5: Their Scope, Their Presentation, and Their use - Leon Clarke (PNNL/JGCRI)
  • IPCC SR1.5 and lessons for IPCC AR6 - Keywan Riahi (IIASA)
  • Open Discussion
  • Morning Break & Informal Discussion
  • CD-LINKS and UN Gap Study: Status update and key findings (Brief Remarks) - Valentina Bosetti (Bocconi University), Gunnar Luderer (PIK), Detlef van Vuuren (PBL)
  • Open Discussion


Session 2:  Assessing climate action in the near term

          • What is the status of NDC implementation and what does this mean for attainment of near-term climate goals?
          • What is the outlook for increased ambition?
          • What is the gap between near-term commitments and longer-term goals?
          • What does the policy community need from IA or others?

Chair: Bryan Mignone


Session 3:  The outlook for energy through midcentury

         • What are the key features of major energy outlooks?
         • What are the most notable similarities and differences between major energy outlooks?
         • How does the process to develop energy outlooks differ from IA?
         • How do the results from various outlooks incorporate expectations about NDCs?
         • How do the results from various outlooks differ from the results of IA once differences in mitigation stringency are accounted for?

Chair: Haroon Kheshgi


Session 4:  Energy and climate finance considerations

         • Why the increased focus on climate risk and opportunity?
         • What are the key issues that need to be considered?
         • How can modeling (and specifically integrated assessment modeling) help inform the discussion?
         • What are the limitations of integrated assessment modeling and how can other modeling/research fill the gaps?
         • How can the finance community help advance Integrated Assessment modeling?
         • What are some of the future opportunities for integrated assessment modeling on this topic?

Chair/Moderator: Janet Peace (C2ES)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Understanding future pace of change: Barriers and opportunities

Session 5:  Future energy system transformation subject to deployment barriers

          • What deployment barriers could be encountered and what does this imply for the pace of transformation?
          • How are deployment barriers represented in IA models and are current approaches sufficient?
          • What are key research priorities to improve the realism of scenarios?
          • What can IA learn from other perspectives, including approaches to energy outlooks and energy finance?

Chair: Haroon Kheshgi

  • Breakfast & Informal Discussion
  • Representing deployment barriers in integrated assessment models: Current status and future directions - Sergey Paltsev (MIT)
  • Frontiers in modeling energy system transformation: The Rapid Switch Project - Chris Greig & Stephen Wilson (U. Queensland)
  • Frontiers in modeling energy system transformation: Project Drawdown - Ryan Allard (Project Drawdown)
  • Open Discussion
  • Morning Break & Informal Discussion
  • Lessons from the demand side: What should we do in the models? - Jim Sweeney (Stanford University)
  • Role of Carbon dioxide removal in achieving stringent carbon mitigation objectives - Steve Rose (EPRI)
  • Open Discussion


Session 6:  Future opportunities related to low-carbon transformation

          • Apart from policy uncertainty, what are key deployment constraints related to finance?
          • What are the most attractive low-carbon investment opportunities given realities on the ground?
          • Which interventions in capital markets would mobilize investment and are they wise?
          • How do the answers to these questions depend on the region or sector of interest?
          • How does this perspective compare to what is projected in energy outlooks or in IA models?

Chair: John Weyant

  • Mobilizing low-carbon investment - Marilyn Waite (Hewlett Foundation)
  • Open Discussion
  • Investment planning from the utility perspective - Tom Wilson (EPRI)
  • Open Discussion
  • Afternoon Break & Informal Discussion


Session 7:  Transformation in Asia

          • What can be learned from a deeper focus on Asia, where the pace of change is more rapid?
          • How do the considerations above apply specifically in these regions?
          • How do perspectives of regional experts align with the projections in IA or energy outlooks?
          • What are the key uncertainties for projecting change in these regions?

Chair: Jae Edmonds


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Implications of ambitious transformation on the energy system

Session 8: Low-carbon transformation and the existing energy system

          • What would different global temperature objectives, if pursued, imply for the existing energy system?
          • How would optimal investment portfolios or planning strategies change if policies were put in place to achieve such objectives?
          • How might we characterize the risks to existing energy assets?
          • From the practitioner perspective, what information is needed to assess asset risk, or know that it has been assessed?
          • How large are climate policy risks relative to other risks?
          • What is the role of integrated assessment modeling – what can and cannot be provided by IAMs?

Chair: Steve Rose

  • Breakfast & Informal Discussion
  • How can integrated assessment inform energy planning and finance? - Jae Edmonds (PNNL/JGCRI)
  • What would 2 °C mean for fossil primary energy? Insights from the GCAM model - Haewon McJeon (PNNL/JGCRI)
  • Open Discussion
  • Morning Break & Informal Discussion
  • Additional perspectives on energy planning and finance (Brief Remarks and panel discussion) - Leon Clarke (PNNL/JGCRI), Tom Wilson (EPRI), Amal-Lee Amin (IADB)
  • Open Discussion


Session 9:  Putting the pieces together: Reflections from IA and practitioners

          • What are the key insights from the last three days?
          • What lessons from energy outlooks or finance can be applied to IA?
          • What information from IA can be used by policy, finance or outlook practitioners and what additional information or translation is needed?
          • Are there other opportunities for interaction among these groups that could be facilitated?
          • What are the implications of any of these insights for the IPCC AR6?

Chair: Jae Edmonds


Session 10:  Wrap-up, next steps and future directions

         • What areas need further attention and are there existing mechanisms to further advance them?
         • Which areas should be considered for additional EMF/Snowmass attention?

Chair: John Weyant

  • Structured Discussion
  • Adjourn
  • Structured Discussion


Thursday, July 26, 2018

  • Informal discussions following up on week 2 presentations