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The Decarbonization Accelerator

Looking for Real U.S. Progress on Climate Change? Look to the States.

US at night aerial


The Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) is collaborating with Robert J. Klee to showcase state-based innovations that can be leveraged on a national level to help decarbonize the US economy.

Klee is former Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and is currently a lecturer at Yale.  Through this initiative, he will explore how leading states, cities, companies, and institutions (like universities and faith-based organizations) have developed policy tools and innovative programs to combat global warming and deeply decarbonize our economy. 

Klee argues that these innovative techniques, developed from the laboratory of the states, must be scaled up and adopted quickly and widely if we hope to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This roadmap, if adopted nationally with sufficient speed and ambition, could form the basis for the deep decarbonization of the U.S. economy.

You can find a printable 2-page overview of this initiative here.

Look to the States Article Series

Part IV: Zero-Carbon Transit

To support decarbonization efforts, we will have to overhaul our transportation system. Over the course of the past century, we used fossil fuels to revolutionize ...

Part V: Building the Low-Carbon Future

The policies explored in this series, taken together and adopted at national scale, would allow the United States to do its part in limiting global ...

What can you do?

Want to take action but are not sure what to do? Below are some ways you can get involved in subnational decarbonization.

  1. Talk to a friend about what you learned today and spread the word
  2. Decarbonize your own lifestyle
  3. Engage in your local community or business on a climate-related activity
    • Work with your local community task force; here's a guidebook we wrote to help Solarize Your Community

    • Join your company’s Green Team

    • If these don’t exist yet, start one!

  4. Call your local representative
  5. Run for a position in local government
  6. Continue your education


From policymakers and public utilities to NGO leaders and private sector executives, we want to start conversations and spark ideas that can considerably decarbonize the U.S. economy.

CBEY hosted regional talks in NYC and Washington, D.C. prior to the start of the pandemic.  In these talks, Rob Klee presented his ideas and engage with people on how we might implement this roadmap and enable these initiatives to take root across the country. We then hosted a few events via Zoom.

We are hopeful to schedule additional talks soon.  Check back for updates!


Previous Events

People & Partners

Robert J. Klee

Lecturer at Yale School of the Environment
Managing Director of Clean Energy Programming at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
Ph.D. 2005
J.D. 2004
Master of Environmental Management 1999

Stuart DeCew

Executive Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
MBA 2011
Master of Environmental Management 2011

Heather Fitzgerald

Managing Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
Staff Lead, Business and the Environment Learning Community at Yale School of the Environment