Richard L. Kauffman (United States of America)
Chairman for Energy Policy and Finance for the State of New York - Governor of New York's Office and Cabinet
Climate Change, Carbon Bubble and New York's Green Bank
In 2010, governments conﬁrmed in the Cancún Agreement that emissions should be reduced to avoid a rise in global average temperature of more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with the possibility of revising this down to 1.5°C. Modelling used in previous analyses by Carbon Tracker and the IEA showed that the carbon budget for a 2°C scenario would be around 565 – 886 billion tonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) to 2050. This outcome assumes that non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. methane and nitrous oxide) remain high. This is only a fraction of the carbon embedded in the world’s indicated fossil fuel reserves, which amount to 2,860GtCO2.
A precautionary approach means only 20% of total fossil fuel reserves can be burnt to 2050. As a result the global economy already faces the prospect of assets becoming stranded and the problem will get worse if current investment trends continue - in effect, a carbon bubble. Using all fossil fuels will breach the global carbon dioxide budget.
In January of this year, Richard L. Kauffman joined Governor Cuomo’s Cabinet as the Chairman of a newly formed Energy & Finance Sub-Cabinet. Mr Kauffman's role will be instrumental in shaping New York’s new $1 billion Green Bank, which Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his State of the State address. Mr Kauffman underlines the need for radical change in regulatory rules in order to provide financing for small projects. He is a strong advocate of green banks working where they can mobilize the private sector, creating linkages with market intermediaries, and using private capital in wholesale markets.
During his keynote address, Mr Kauffman will explain how New York Government's future policies will expand the marketplace for clean energy generation, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and low-carbon development by animating market forces and encouraging private sector participation.