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JIM WILLIAMS – Carbon Neutral Pathways for the United States

October 21, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PDT


TITLE: Carbon Neutral Pathways for the United States

Jim Williams

DATE: October 21, 2020
TIME: 4:00-5:30 PM

LOCATION: Zoom Meeting
MEETING ID: 936 4832 9820
PASSCODE: 316225
NOTE: All participants and hosts are now required to sign into a Zoom account prior to joining meetings hosted by UC Berkeley. Participants who are not eligible for a UC Berkeley-provided Zoom account can use a Zoom account provided by their institution, can create a free, consumer Zoom account (at https://zoom.us/freesignup/), or can dial in via phone.

Achieving carbon-neutrality in the U.S. by mid-century requires practical roadmaps of the infrastructure transition, costs, and tradeoffs involved. We modeled the energy system in detail to create pathways to net-zero and net-negative CO2 emissions by 2050. The least-cost pathway met all forecast energy needs at a net cost of 0.4% of GDP, using only commercial or near-commercial technologies, without early retirement of existing infrastructure. Constrained pathways –  e.g. limits on land available for renewable siting, biomass use, or consumer adoption of low-carbon technologies – also met the target, but at higher cost. This study provides a playbook for carbon neutrality policy with concrete near-term priorities.

Dr. Jim Williams is a global thought leader on the decarbonization of energy systems. He is currently an associate professor in the Energy Systems Management program at the University of San Francisco, where he teaches many ERG-like courses. Jim was formerly chief scientist at E3, where he led the analysis of decarbonization strategies for California’s government agencies, and also directed the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), whose blueprints for a low-carbon transition in the 16 highest-emitting countries influenced the Paris Agreement. He received his B.S. in Physics from Washington and Lee University, and his M.S and Ph.D. from ERG.


October 21, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm PDT
Event Category:


Energy and Resources Group