G&G 746 (S17) Seminar in Climate and Energy

All Courses

Quantifying Risks and Opportunities of Climate Change


Michael Oristaglio, director, Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program

Cary Krosinsky, lecturer, Yale College and Yale School of Management

Schedule and Room: We 1:00–2:45pm, Room KGL 123 (tentative)

Prerequisites: None. Preference will be given to senior Energy Studies scholars.

Course Description:

This seminar course will study the risks and opportunities of climate change from a quantitative perspective. Topics will range from the use of high-resolution regional climate models to better quantify the short-term effects of global warming on local communities, to the global prospects for public and private financing in decarbonizing the world’s energy systems. We will look at examples from around the world, including: the development of very-high resolution regional climate models to assess climate impacts by the Climate Program Office of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Canadian Centre ESCER, and the UK Met Office; the pricing of carbon in different ways, such as the carbon tax in British Columbia, the carbon market in China and the Yale Carbon Charge; the financing and progress of the German Energiewende; and the overall energy investment analysis made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for its World Energy Outlook 2016.

The requirements for the course are class participation (10%), writing assignments (3, 1000 words each: 30%), group presentations (3, 20-minutes each: 30%), and a final presentation accompanied with speaker’s notes (4000 words: 30%). Requirements and readings will be structured around guest lectures.


  • W 1 (Jan 18) Organizational Meeting
  • W 2 (Jan 25) Energy and climate change, the outlook in 2017
  • W 3 (Feb 1) Writing assignment 1, class exercise
  • W 4 (Feb 8) Global outlook for climate impacts
    • Guests: Katharine Mach (Stanford), Dan Schrag (Harvard)
  • W 5 (Feb 15) The future of energy sector investments, with a focus on renewable energy
    • Guests: Kamel Ben Naceur (IEA), Mark Lewis (Barclays)
  • W 6 (Feb 22) Financing and progress of the German Energiewende
    • Guests: Henrik Maatsch, Matthias Kopp (WWF Germany)
  • W 7 (Mar 1) Writing assignment 2, class discussion
  • W 8 (Mar 8) Institutional strategies for investment in energy and climate change
    • Guests: Dean Takahashi (Yale), Carol Thomas (State of CT), Sophie Purdom (Brown)
  • W 9 (Mar 29) Better quantifying climate-change impacts by regional modeling
    • Guests: Cecilia DeLuca (NOAA), Philippe Gachon (U Quebec), Vicky Pope (UK Met Office)
  • W 10 (Apr 5) Writing assignment 3, class discussion
  • W 11 (Apr 12) Private financing of energy projects and technology
    • Guest: Gary Sernovitz, Lime Rock Partners
  • W 12 (Apr 19) Pricing carbon: Regional and local markets
    • Guests: Ken Gillingham (Yale), Casey Pickett (Yale)
  • W 13 (Apr 26) Final Presentations
  • W 14 (May 3) Final Presentations