The Future of Power in a Post Carbon Society

David Livingston

Atlantic Council

David Livingston is Deputy Director for Climate & Advanced Energy at the Atlantic Council. Previously, he was an associate fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Energy and Climate Program, where his research focuses on geoeconomics, markets, and risk. He is also a nonresident associate of Carnegie Europe in Brussels.

Previously, Mr. Livingston served as the inaugural Robert S. Strauss fellow for geoeconomics at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where he concluded as acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs. He also has worked at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna. Mr. Livingston is an alumnus of the Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders Program.

He is a 2017-2018 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).

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The United States and Germany must both confront the global implications of a rising global population and increasing urbanization.  Finding an approach to powering our societies that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels will be imperative, as the need for global transport and other energy-intensive uses will continue to increase in the coming decades. However, the prospects for alternatives to oil and electrification are far from certain.  Despite the U.S.’ abundant natural gas, the U.S. and Europe must continue to contend with an oil-based infrastructure.

Some cities and regions are already undertaking new initiatives and strategies to cope with these twenty-first century challenges.  Smarter city planning and transportation networks, technological innovation, and the development of regional carbon markets are all important steps in determining how to create a post-carbon society.

AGI’s project on “The Geopolitics of Energy” addresses these and other issues pertaining to transatlantic energy security. This Policy Report offers German and American perspectives on the emerging fuel challenges in the transportation sector, and the potential for “post-carbon” cities.  It is an example of AGI’s commitment to comparing and contrasting the interests and policies of Germany and the United States in an effort to identify common policy challenges, choices, and opportunities.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.