Energy and Environment Program
Energy and Environment Program
History of the Program
History of the Energy and Environment Program In addition to policy dialogues described under Our Program, the Energy and Environment Program, founded in 1969 as the Program on the Environment and Quality of Life, has in recent years worked on the following programs:
- Climate Policy Framework In 2004, The Aspen Institute, in association with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, convened a diverse group of leaders to develop a politically feasible framework for a mandatory U.S. climate change policy. The group reached a consensus on several fundamental elements of a national policy, if one is adopted.
- Dialogue on Dams and Rivers Once perceived as almost entirely beneficial, dams are seen more realistically today as having both positive and negative effects. Some of the tens of thousands of dams in the United States are aging beyond their expected lifespan, and some are causing a variety of safety, environmental, and other problems. In September 2000, the Energy and Environment Program convened a group of experts to address these issues in a series of intentional, values-based dialogues.
- Meeting on Ethanol A distinguished group of business, government, environmental and academic leaders met for two and a half days at Wye Woods in late March 2006 to discuss the potential of biofuels to improve energy security, the environment, and the economy. Co-chaired by Booz Allen Hamilton Vice President and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and former Congressman Tom Ewing (R. IL), they developed a series of recommendations to stimulate the widespread commercialization of both corn and cellulosic ethanol as a replacement for gasoline.
- Environment and Economics Forum Former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and former Undersecretary of State Frank Loy co-chaired a Forum in Aspen on balancing economic growth and a healthy environment. This report includes their conclusions and discussion papers exploring the tradeoffs from the perspectives of business leaders, elected officials, investment firms, journalists, and economists.
- Environmental Policy Forum The first Environmental Policy Forum – co-chaired by former Stanford University President Donald Kennedy and AES Corporation Chairman Roger Sant – met in Aspen in July, 2000, and this diverse group of leaders discussed 14 "memos to the President". The second Environmental Policy Forum – chaired by Frank Loy, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs under President Clinton, and Bruce Smart, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade under President Reagan – was held in Aspen in January, 2002 and focused on what the U.S. should do about climate change. The Biodiversity Policy Forum held in Aspen in April, 2004 and was co-chaired by Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of Interior, and José Sarukhan, Professor of Ecology and former President of the National University of Mexico (UNAM).
- Journalism and the Environment The Conference on Journalism and the Environment, held in Aspen in July 2005, convened executives, editors, news directors, and reporters from leading news organizations to examine journalistic coverage of the environment and, by extension, other important issues that are slow to develop but likely to have serious long-term consequences. The conference was sponsored by the Catto Charitable Foundation and the Nicholas Institute and organized by the Energy and the Environment Program and the Communications and Society Program in collaboration with the Nicholas Institute.
- Mexico-U.S. Border Dialogue Co-sponsored by the Aspen Institute Program on Energy, the Environment and the Economy, and the Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), Mexico, participants in the Dialogue convened in Aspen in October 1999. With a focus on how to improve growth management throughout the border region, twenty-eight leaders participated, representing public, private, academic, and NGO sector interests.
- Pacific Rim Energy Workshops In 1983, the Energy and Environment Program initiated an experimental workshop in Hawaii on energy fuels trade on the Pacific Rim. In April, 2002, the 17th Pacific Rim Energy Workshop was held in Seoul, Korea, and produced the report Energy Supply Increase and Searching for Strategies. The 1999 meeting was held in Kanagawa, Japan. In 1997 the Ministry of Development and Brunei-Shell co-hosted the meeting in Brunei on the topic Powering Asia: Is Gas the Answer?
- Series on the Environment in the 21st Century The Series on the Environment in the 21st Century, which began in 1993, convened leaders of business, government, environmental groups, and other non-governmental organizations to engage in civil discourse about issues specific to environmental policies-to listen to and learn from one another, to increase understanding and build trust, to reflect and consider, to generate innovative thinking, to develop alternatives, and to help participants discover the values and interests of their colleagues.
- Valuing Environmental Performance Representatives of corporations and financial institutions, along with a small number of government, NGO, and academic representatives, met in New York in 1997 and 1998 to discuss ways for corporations to communicate the strategic value of their environmental behavior and for financial markets to recognize, measure, and reward improved environmental management.
- Water, Development, and U.S. Policy Based on a 2005 dialogue sponsored by the Aspen Institute’s Program on Energy, the Environment, and the Economy and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, this report provides a series of recommendations on this challenge for governments, businesses, and other organizations. Co-chairs William K. Reilly and Harriett C. Babbitt highlight the urgency of the challenge and the array of public and private initiatives to tackle it.
- Roundtable Discussions Leading experts in the fields of energy and the environment were convened for discussions on a wide array of critical issues.