SusTech Talk Jan. 2024 – Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions


SusTech is hosting talks on Sustainability topics leading up to the 2024 conference in April.

Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions

with K John Holmes, Scholar and Director of Energy and Environmental Systems, US National Academies of Sciences

Date: Tuesday 23-January-24
Time: 06:00 PM to 07:00 PM (PDT) (online)



In October 2023 a National Academies study committee released Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States, Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions. That report analyzes recent legislative and other actions taken related to decarbonization and provides detailed policy recommendations to help ensure that the benefits of these recent actions translated into substantial emissions reductions. The authoring committee also recognizes that maintaining public support for a transition to a net-zero GHG emissions system by mid-century requires careful attention to the societal dimensions of the transition. The report provides policy recommendations to address the need to build a more competitive U.S. economy, to increase the availability of high-quality jobs, to improve public health by reducing ambient air pollution, and to ensure a just and equitable energy transition.


K John Holmes

K John Holmes is the senior director and scholar of the National Academies’ Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES). The portfolio for BEES is broad and includes activities on climate mitigation and assessment, electricity system modernization, fuel economy technologies for light-duty vehicles, and energy innovation. Dr. Holmes currently leads the cross-Academies initiative on the technological, societal, and policy issues related to deep decarbonization of the United States energy system. That work includes public events on a host of topics related to decarbonization and the February 2022 report Accelerating Decarbonization of the U.S, Energy System. His other recent activities include: co-directing studies on the future of the electricity system and negative emissions technologies; directing a study on electricity system resiliency; and organizing workshops on sub-national climate assessment and scaling deep decarbonization technologies.

He has directed studies and published on a range of topics including energy technologies, climate change, renewable electricity, sub-national climate assessment, air quality management, stratospheric ozone depletion, water resources management, and carbon emissions trading. He has a personal interest in the long-term development of technology and policy and published “A historical perspective on climate change assessment” and “A Century of Environmental Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles” related to these interests. He received a B.S. from Indiana University, M.S.E. from University of Washington, and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.