Net-Zero Economy Summit


Oct. 20, 2022

Event Series


Event Description

What can we do to pursue a future of net-zero emissions and net-positive economic solutions?

The Net-Zero Economy Summit, hosted by the independent research institution Resources for the Future, explored the transformative decisionmaking needed to deliver on two goals: net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and the advancement of our economic well-being.

On Thursday, October 20, leading voices in government, business, academia, and the media explored the solutions needed to achieve net-zero emissions across all major sectors of the economy—from electricity and transportation, to industry and land use. We examined the crucial decisions needed to confront climate risks, build resilience, and prioritize solutions that are just and equitable.


High resolution photos from the RFF Net-Zero Economy Summit can be found on our Flickr page. Photos can be used under a creative commons license. Photo credit: Ronald Flores/Resources for the Future.


Full Video: Skylight Pavilion Programming

  • The RFF Story and the Net-Zero Economy Richard Newell Watch
  • Keynote address by Ali Zaidi Watch
  • Keynote interview with Hank Paulson and Sue Tierney Watch
  • Fireside chat on International Climate Policy with Melanie Nakagawa and Kyung-Ah Park Watch
  • International Climate Policy discussion Valentina Bosetti, Jennifer Hillman, Raymond Kopp, Billy Pizer, and Robert Stavins Watch
  • Fireside chat on Transportation Policy with Annie Petsonk and Billy Pizer Watch
  • Transportation Policy discussion with David Strickland, Sarah Dunham, Jessika Trancik, Richard Ezike, and Beia Spiller Watch
  • Fireside chat on Electric Power with Jigar Shah and Sue Tierney Watch
  • Electric Power discussion with Derek Bandera, Jennie Chen, Ben Hobbs, Doreen Harris, and Karen Palmer Watch

Full Video: Justice Forum Programming

  • Fireside chat on Industry and Fuels with Matt Rogers and Corbin Hiar Watch
  • Industry and Fuels discussion with Geraldine Richmond, Alan Krupnick, Sean O'Neill, and Corbin Hiar Watch
  • Fireside chat on Land Use, Forestry, and Agriculture with Robert Bonnie and Ximena Bustillo Watch
  • Land Use, Forestry, and Agriculture discussion with Randy Moore, Suzi Kerr, Rita Hite, David Wear, and Jim Boyd Watch
  • Fireside chat on Climate Risks and Impacts with Alice Hill and Sen. Mary Landrieu Watch
  • Climate Risks and Impacts discussion with Crystal Bergemann, Samantha Medlock, Carlos Martín, Sheila Foster, and Margaret Walls Watch


8:30 a.m. EDT

Light Breakfast and Coffee

Join us for light breakfast and coffee.

9:30 a.m. EDT


Opening presentation by RFF President and CEO Richard Newell on the need for a net-zero economy.

9:55 a.m. EDT

Keynote Addresses

An address by Ali Zaidi, White House National Climate Advisor, followed by a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, moderated by RFF board of directors chair Sue Tierney.

12:45 p.m. EDT

Lunch Break

An hour's break for lunch and networking opportunities.

3:15p.m. EDT

Coffee Break

Mid-afternoon coffee and networking break.

5:15p.m. EDT


A reception at the Kennedy Center follows the day's programming.

Venue Information

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The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The REACH is a living theater where diverse art forms collide to break down the boundaries between audience and art. Located next to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, it is in the heart of Washington, DC, and the perfect location to explore today's most pressing climate issues.

2700 F St., NW
Washington, DC

This event is an external rental presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Center.

International Climate Policy


How can we encourage increased global ambition to decarbonize while recognizing countries' needs to maintain international competitiveness?

Ahead of COP27, join us as our panel of international experts discusses approaches and policies that can support industrial competitiveness, minimize emissions leakage, and encourage ambition as nations decarbonize.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Skylight Pavilion at the REACH at 11:15 a.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Melanie Nakagawa

Former Special Assistant to the President and NSC Director for Climate and Energy, The Executive Office of the President of the United States

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Kyung-Ah Park

Member, RFF Board of Directors

Industry and Fuels


How can we spur innovation and its deployment to decarbonize the industrial sector?

Our panel of experts examines the tools that will be needed to meet the challenge, from innovations to reduce the costs of cleaner fuels, to employing underutilized methods for stimulating government funds.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Justice Forum at the REACH at 11:15 a.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Matt Rogers

Former CEO, Mission Possible

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Corbin Hiar

Reporter, E&E News

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Alan Krupnick

Senior Fellow and Industry and Fuels Director, Resources for the Future

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Sean O'Neill

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Portland Cement Association

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Geraldine Richmond

Under Secretary for Science and Innovation, United States Department of Energy

Transportation and Infrastructure


The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the US. Net-zero goals will demand major strides to decarbonize the sector. 

​How can we deliver net-zero transport and infrastructure strategies that spur innovation in a diverse technology portfolio to drive deployment at scale? Join us as experts across policymaking, industry, and academia examine the future of this sector, from EVs and electrification to fuels, freight, and aviation.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Skylight Pavilion at the REACH at 1:45 p.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Sarah Dunham

Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, United States Environmental Protection Agency

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Richard Ezike

Director, CHPlanning

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David Strickland

Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs, General Motors

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Jessika Trancik

Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Beia Spiller

Fellow and Transportation Program Director, Resources for the Future

Land Use, Forestry, and Agriculture


How can we fully seize the power of land as a carbon sink to reduce emissions and sustain people and ecosystems?

Join us as experts explore the role of land—cultivated, wild, and urban—in meeting our climate targets. The panel will also examine the relationship between increasingly intense and frequent wildfires and GHG emissions.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Justice Forum at the REACH at 1:45 p.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Robert Bonnie

Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation, US Department of Agriculture

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Ximena Bustillo

Political Reporter, NPR

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Jim Boyd

Senior Fellow and Land Use, Forestry, and Agriculture Program Director, Resources for the Future

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Rita Hite

CEO, American Forest Foundation

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Suzi Kerr

Chief Economist, Environmental Defense Fund

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Randy Moore

Chief, US Forest Service

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David Wear

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future

Electric Power


How can we build an electricity market and policy structure that enables 100 percent clean, reliable, and affordable power around the clock, and what are the biggest challenges to implementation?

Our panel of leading experts explores the opportunities and implications of total decarbonization of the power sector.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Skylight Pavilion at the REACH at 3:45 p.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Derek Bandera

Executive Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs, Midcontinent Independent System Operator

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Jennifer Chen

Senior Manager, Clean Energy, World Resources Institute

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Doreen Harris

CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

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Benjamin Hobbs

Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Professor of Environmental Management, Johns Hopkins University

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Karen Palmer

Senior Fellow and Electric Power Program Director, Resources for the Future

Climate Risks and Resilience


The path to net-zero will require us to improve resilience and meet climate impacts in the short and medium term.

What actions must we take now to live in a changing world where sea level rise, wildfire, and flooding are increasing in both frequency and intensity? This panel will examine the strategies and policies needed to build more just and equitable resilience in the face of disproportionate climate impacts, and the steps required to build resilience into a net-zero climate mitigation policy package.

Session Details

This session will take place at the Justice Forum at the REACH at 3:45 p.m. EDT. More information coming soon.

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Alice Hill

David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations

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The Honorable Mary Landrieu

US Senate (D-LA), 1997-2015; Member, Resources for the Future Board of Directors

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Crystal Bergemann

Senior Director for Resilience, The White House

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Sheila Foster

Professor of Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University

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Carlos Martín

David M. Rubenstein Fellow, The Brookings Institution

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Samantha Medlock

Senior Counsel, Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, United States House of Representatives

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Margaret Walls

Senior Fellow and Director, Climate Risks and Impacts and Adaptation and Resilience Programs, Resources for the Future



W. Bowman Cutter
R. Glenn Hubbard
Lawrence H. Linden


Vicky A. Bailey
Barbara Kates-Garnick and Marc B. Garnick
Kyung-Ah Park
Susan and John Tierney

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become a Sponsor

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Shannon Wulf Tregar to learn more.

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