Dr. Nathan Hultman is Director of the Center for Global Sustainability and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.
He is also associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2014-2016, Hultman worked on the Obama Administration’s climate and energy policy team. During this time, he helped develop the U.S. 2025 climate target, worked on U.S. bilateral engagements with China, India, Brazil and others, and participated in the international climate negotiations in Lima and Paris. He has participated in the UN climate process since the Kyoto meeting, and is a contributing author to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and Special Report on Renewable Energy.
His research focuses on national climate target-setting and assessment, U.S. emissions mitigation policy, energy technology transitions in emerging economies and international climate policy. He was formerly a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford, assistant professor at Georgetown University, Fulbright Fellow, and NASA Earth Systems Science Fellow in climate sciences. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Physics.
There are some technologies that can actually capture emissions of, for example, CO2, and those technologies right now are relatively expensive per ton of CO2 that you can actually eliminate from being omitted. But, there are also, of course, other options, there’s energy efficiency, there are alternative sources of supply, such as solar and wind, and there are even switches to other sources of fuel, such as natural gas.
But the discussion in the United States is different now, even from a month ago. [Hurricane Sandy] demonstrated to a large part of the country that we are certainly vulnerable to the kind of events we might see under climate change. People see now that it is related it to our national security.
I'm frankly quite uninspired by the new thematic approach to Rio+20. It's very incrementalist and it's not really thinking about the big environmental goals, which is what do we really need to do about energy and environment over the next 50 years.