Daniel Cohan

Efforts to slow climate change are for now gridlocked. Growth of clean energy and a plateauing of coal use worldwide have averted worst-case scenarios for climate change, but we remain far off track from the dramatic emissions reductions needed to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

Drawing on lessons from his book, “Confronting Climate Gridlock,” Cohan will discuss the technologies, policies and diplomacy needed to accelerate a clean-energy transition and curb global warming. For clean-energy technologies, the talk will distinguish between those that are on the cusp of widespread adoption and those that will require major breakthroughs to succeed, focusing on what’s needed for the pillars of decarbonization — efficiency, clean electricity, electrification, clean fuels and carbon-dioxide removal. Policy must create both a push from R&D and a pull of market demand to spur adoption of those technologies and drive down costs via learning by doing. Diplomacy both within and beyond the Paris Agreement framework will be needed to accelerate progress worldwide.


Daniel Cohan is an atmospheric scientist and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a former member of NASA’s Air Quality Applied Sciences Team and author of the forthcoming book, “Confronting Climate Gridlock: How Diplomacy, Technology, and Policy Can Unlock a Clean Energy Future.”

De Lange Conference



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