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  • Expertise on national climate strategies and policies, assessments of national ambition in the U.S., China and other major economies, fossil phaseout strategies, and subnational climate action
  • Served in the Office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate in the U.S. State Department; and in the Obama White House. Contributed to U.S. Long Term Strategy, U.S-China Joint Glasgow Declaration, U.S. 2025 NDC
  • Founded and directs the Center for Global Sustainability, which links collaborative research with policy engagement to support enhanced global climate ambition and action

Nate Hultman is the Founder and Director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland, and Professor in the School of Public Policy. Prof. Hultman’s work focuses on developing and assessing policy strategies to target and achieve ambitious national climate goals. This includes U.S. emissions mitigation policy, rapid coal phaseout strategies in diverse national contexts, and economy-wide emissions strategies in key countries, with a focus on China and others. He was recently Senior Advisor in the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate at the U.S. Department of State, where he led the writing of the 2021 U.S. Long Term Strategy report and helped negotiate the U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration at COP26. In his academic research, he was also lead author of several recent assessments of U.S. national climate strategies and emissions targets in advance of the announcement of the U.S. 2030 climate target (NDC). From 2014-2016, Hultman worked at the White House on the Obama Administration’s climate and energy policy team. During this time, he helped develop the U.S. 2025 NDC, supported bilateral engagements with China and others, and participated in the international climate negotiations in Paris. He has participated in the UN climate process for 25 years, starting with the Kyoto meeting. Hultman is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He was formerly a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford and a Fulbright fellow. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Physics from Carleton College.

Areas of Interest
  • Climate change; energy policy; US federal climate policy
3 Credit(s)

Designed for students whose academic majors would be enhanced by the complementary study of a widely shared but hard-to-operationalize aspiration: that present choices should preserve or improve future options rather than foreclose or degrade them. How should we understand sustainability? How might we achieve it? How would we know if we had achieved it? And how could sustainability activists of a rising generation lead by example?
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Nathan Hultman
3 Credit(s)

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the science, technology, economics, and politics of energy use in human societies. After an introduction to the scientific principles of transforming energy sources into usable services, we investigate specific technologies and discuss their impact on geopolitics and the environment. In doing so we seek to address these questions, among others: What is the role of energy in national security? What is the future of oil and how do new resources and new demand centers affect energy security? What are the implications of new, long-term supplies of unconventional gas from fracking? What role can nuclear power serve for the next century? Do wind and solar power have the potential to supplant other energy sources? What will climate change policy mean for our energy mix? How might developing countries undertake a low-carbon energy transition? What is the proper balance of regulation and free market operation in energy and electricity markets? What new technologies are on the horizon, and how promising are they? Given extensive current activity on this topic, the course will retain flexibility to take advantage of relevant DC-area academic, government, or agency events, hearings, and/or conferences.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Nathan Hultman

Successfully addressing the climate crisis while achieving sustainable development goals will require carefully constructed strategies to enact rapid economic transitions to a cleaner economy—tailored to national circumstances and priorities. The Center for Global Sustainability has deep expertise in country-specific analytical and policy approaches across key sectors and in support of a 1.5°C-pathway.

Learn More about National Climate Strategies

After the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement in 2017, CGS led the analysis of commitments from the more than 4,000 cities, states, businesses, universities, communities of faith, and more who pledged to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in their own capacity. Since the U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement in March 2021, CGS has continued working with U.S. subnational and international partners to deliver analysis that informs how an "all-of-society" ambitious and achievable U.S. climate strategy can drive actionable and feasible policy. CGS informs U.S. climate policy from the local to global through developing integrated modeling and climate scenarios for the federal government, advising on international discussions to ramp up ambition, and collaborating from the bottom-up to move the resources necessary to set and achieve ambitious climate goals.

Learn More about U.S. Program
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