- Cassie Phillips, Director, Private Environmental Governance Initiative, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
- Jonathan Gilligan, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University and Co-Author, Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change
- Stephen Harper, Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy, Intel Corporation
- Jackie Roberts, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Carlyle Group
- Michael P. Vandenbergh, Director, Climate Change Research Network, Co-director, Energy, Environment, and Land Use Program. Law Professor, Vanderbilt University, and Co-Author, Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change
When the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, 100 private corporations reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change. While governments are often the tasked with facing climate change, many major private institutions are taking steps to significantly reduce carbon emissions reaping the benefits of favorable public image and reduced operational costs from energy and other savings. While private action alone will not be sufficient to address climate change, it can buy time while government policy plans are developed and enacted and can significantly add to the collective mitigation efforts. In their new book, Beyond Politics, Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan argue that private climate initiatives could reduce carbon emissions by up to one billion tons per year over the next ten years. Vandenbergh and Gilligan identify current initiatives and explore future pathways for private climate action, including public and private synergies for climate mitigation and approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of private action. Co-authors Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan, as well as our leading co-panelists, discussed the role of private institutions in climate change mitigation. They discussed the incentives for private actors pursuing carbon reduction initiatives, key factors in successful case studies, and methods for developing and evaluating successful private climate initiatives.