News Archive

November 08, 2017: “Women in Energy: Navigating and Leading in the Energy Field”

WIE program focused on female leadership in the energy sector you can view the moderated panel discussion and open question and answer.

Video available of Women in Energy – Navigating and Leading in the Energy Field (Panel Discussion)- click here

April 26, 2016: From All Corners of Engineering, Sustainable Energy Solutions in the Works

An energy feature in the Columbia University Spring 2016 SEAS publication here.

August 25, 2014: Passive Carbon Capture Can Clean Clean Up Our Air, But the Technology Lacks Popular Support

An article in the Earth Island Journal views Prof. Lackner’s technology as planetary hygiene. The full article can be found here.

August 7, 2014: CO2 capture from air could ripen into a global warming solution, researcher predicts

Climate Wire discusses professor Lackner’s air capture technology.

August 6, 2014: Scrubbing Carbon Dioxide From Ambient Air

Professor Klaus Lackner presented to the United States Energy Association on Scrubbing Carbon Dioxide From Ambient Air. View the slides presentation here. The presentation was filmed by C-Span, watch here.

May 9, 2013: 400 PPM: Can Artificial Trees Help Pull CO2 from the Air?

A new article in Scientific American about Professor Lackner’s carbon capture tree has recently been written by David Biello. In the article, Biello sees up-close how the artificial tree works. The full article can be found here.

May 23, 2012: 2012 Energy Storage Symposium Presentations

Thank you for your patience! The 2012 Presentations are now available online.

May 15, 2012: 2012 Energy Storage Symposium Blog Post

Read Josh Garrett’s post on the 2012 Energy Storage Symposium here!

May 9, 2012: Klaus Lackner and Allen Wright on The City Atlas

The City Atlas interviews Lackner and Wright on climate change and the “artificial tree.”

April 3, 2012: Klaus Lackner on State of the Planet

Read Lackner’s new post on EI’s State of the Planet.

March 5, 2012: Dr. Tim Fox

Dr. Tim Fox spoke on “One Planet; Too Many People?” at Columbia on March 5th. More details in Events.

February 3, 2012: Klaus Lackner on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show

How to Save the World: Professor Lackner’s comments on climate change and how to stop it.

PositiveFeedback Event, February 12th, 2012: Artist/Scientist Mixer

Find out more about our recent event fostering relationships between artists and scientists here!

December 5th, 2011: Klaus Lackner on ABC News

Why the World Meteorological Organization calls carbon capture “one hope.”

Klaus Lackner interviewed by Allianz, August 4th, 2011

Lackner is interviewed by Allianz’s Michael Grimm on air capture and the future carbon market on Allianz Knowledge Site.

Lackner and Wright on EnergyNOW! July 31st, 2011

Klaus Lackner and Allen Wright describe their air capture technology and closing the carbon loop on ABC’s EnergyNOW! which airs on ABC in Washington, DC, and nationally on Bloomberg TV. The clip is available online.

Klaus Lackner on Academic Minute, June 9th, 2011

Klaus Lackner discusses the imperative for air capture on WAMC’s Academic Minute.

Klaus Lackner’s Response to APS Study, May 11th, 2011

Klaus Lackner responds to the American Physical Society study released May 9th. “If you study penguins,” he says, “you might jump to the conclusion that birds can’t fly.” Read more in Nature.

Klaus Lackner on Reuters, April 28th, 2011

Klaus Lackner and Allen Wright speak and demonstrate air capture technology on Reuters TV. Watch the video here.

Earth Day: The Civilians’ The Great Immensity, April 22nd, 2011

This event was a work-in-progress showing of The Civilians’ The Great Immensity, a play exploring the issues of climate change and deforestation through the stories of people affected by them. A discussion with the creative team followed the play, moderated by Lisa Phillips of the Lenfest Center. This event was presented with support from Positive Feedback, a new initiative of the Earth Institute, Columbia University; the Center for Creative Research at NYU; and the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities, designed to support the collaborations of artists and scientists focused on climate change. For more information, please visit its website.

Capture and Conversion of CO2 into Sustainable Hydrocarbon Fuels, April 14th & April 15th, 2011

The Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, DTU in Denmark joined for this international workshop focused on the design, implementation, and economic viability of current CO2 capture and conversion technology. The goal of the workshop was to survey the various technologies available for carbon capture and conversion and define strategies for reaching commercialization and insertion into existing infrastructures of the sustainable hydrocarbon fuels produced via the renewable or nuclear energy conversion of captured CO2. Held in Roskilde, Denmark, the workshop included presentations from 16 experts in the field as well as a poster session open to all interested. A program of events is available here. For more information please visit the workshop’s website, which can be found here.

Cafe Science: Towards Sustainable Energy: Carbon Capture and Storage, April 11th, 2011

Café Science is a series of informal discussions about some of the most pressing scientific questions of our day, led by Columbia University’s foremost scientists. Lenfest Junior Professor in Applied Climate Science Alissa Park discussed current development of various carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies with students and community members. More information about this event is here.

Columbia University Energy Symposium, April 1st, 2011

For the sixth year, the Columbia Business School hosted its annual Energy Symposium, titled “Shaping the Future of Energy Through Finance, Policy and Science.” A day-long event held in Low Memorial Library, this year’s symposium addressed three themes: evolution of the grid, financing the future of energy, and the shifting oil and gas markets. Speakers included the Lenfest Center’s Director Klaus Lackner, as well as Jacques Besnaiou, CEO of AREVA, Inc; Colin Davies, VP of Corporate Strategy and Planning and Hess Corporation; and Brian Ward, Managing Director and Chief Risk Office at GE Energy Financial Services. The event also included panels, an emerging technology showcase, and ample networking opportunities.

For information about this year’s symposium, visit its website at

Klaus Lackner on OnEarth’s LISTEN: What Can We Do With All That CO2? March 1st, 2011

Listen here to the director of the Lenfest Center Klaus Lackner discuss why carbon capture and storage (CCS) is necessary in today’s world with Climate Central and OnEarth magazine. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

Klaus Lackner on DRadio Wissen, February 16, 2011

Click here to read a brief summary and listen to Klaus Lackner on German radio DRadio Wissen.

The Evolution of UK Policy on CCS and Air Capture, February 2, 2011

The Earth Institute’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy in collaboration with the Earth Institute’s Climate Center and the Center for Climate Change Law welcomed Dr. Tim Fox of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Currently the Head of Energy and Environment at IMechE in London, Fox has played a role developing and communicating the Institution’s policies on energy and sustainability issues and provided input to government policy making. On February 2nd, Fox discussed current UK Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and describe the evolution of UK air capture policy. He provided unique insight into the 18 month shift from taboo subject to government acceptance as a lead advocate for adoption of this technology in climate change policy.

Dr. Fox’s presentation can be accessed here.

For more information, please see the full description.

Klaus Lackner & Allen Wright on Innovation Nation, January 5th, 2011

Klaus Lackner and Allen Wright demonstrated air capture technology on Innovation Nation TV.

November 18, 2010: Capturing Carbon

Klaus Lackner, director of the Earth Institute’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, presented and discussed his innovate research on carbon capture at the British Museum’s Dana Centre. The Dana Centre, in collaboration with the Science Museum, hosted the evening of lively discussion moderated by BBS World Series presenter Gareth Mitchell. For more information, follow this link to the event’s website.

September 2010: Klaus Lackner in Sierra Magazine

Edward Humes of Sierra Magazine writes on Klaus Lackner and his “Climate Scrubbers.”

September 29, 2010: Klaus Lackner at Stony Brook

View Klaus Lackner’s full Provost Lecture at Stony Brook on “CO2 Capture from Air.”

Fall 2010 Columbia Engineering Newsletter Feature

The Fall 2010 issue of the Columbia Engineering Newsletter highlights the environmentally-driven research currently being undertaken at the engineering school in the areas of energy, climate, and water. The carbon-related research of both Professor Klaus Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, and Professor Ah-hyung (Alissa) Park, associate director of Lenfest, is spotlighted in the issue. To see Professor Lackner’s piece, follow this link. Professor Park’s article may be found here.

To see the entire newsletter, click here

May 4, 2010: Sustainable Fuels from CO2, H2O and Carbon-Free Energy

The Earth Institute’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy (LCSE) and the Riso National Lab for Sustainable Energy, Denmark, presented “Sustainable Fuels from CO2, H2O and Carbon-free Energy,” a day-long event for a scientists and policy-makers to learn about future energy options. Speakers included various professors and scientists from Columbia University; Brookhaven, Sandia, and Idaho National Labs; Los Alamos Solar Energy LLC; Risoe National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy; and City College of New York.

For more information on the Risoe National Lab for Sustainable Energy, visit their website.

For a full agenda of the day’s events, click here.

Full presentation from the event now posted!

April 22, 2010: Illuminating the Science: Art and Climate Change

The vision of climate change provided by the arts complements the analytical information given by the science. The landscape of numbers can be populated by dreams in the form of images, dance or music, leading to a more complete understanding of how our planet works. The Earth Institute, Columbia University, the Segal Center, and artists, scientists, and communication experts working across multiple disciplines joined for an inspirational, informative program to explore present and future connections between the arts and climate change science. Co-curated by LCSE’s Lisa Phillips.

This event featured:

Gavin Schmidt, climatologist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Stephen Pekar, geologist, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College, City University of New York
Britta Riley, artist, entrepreneur
Jeremy Pickard, theatre artist
Moderated by Sabine Marx, Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, Columbia University.
Klaus Lackner, geophysicist, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University
Katie Holten, visual artist
Ajit Subramaniam, biological oceanographer, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Cynthia Hopkins, performing artist
Jon Braman, rapper/songwriter
Moderated by Lisa Phillips, Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

For more information

December 14-18, 2009: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

Professor Klaus Lackner and Senior Staff Associate Allen Wright showcased their air capture technology at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2009 in San Francisco, CA. The exhibit, which was sponsored by Professor Wally Broecker, demonstrated the extraction of carbon dioxide from ambient air using ionic exchange resins. More than 16,000 scientists from around the globe attended the AGU Fall Meeting which provided an opportunity for researchers, teachers, and students to present and review the latest issues affecting the planets and their environments in space.

For more information, visit the AGU Fall meeting website.

November 4, 2009: Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century- Larry Burns and Jeffrey D. Sachs

See a video of the event here.

On October 1, 2009, Larry Burns completed a distinguished career with General Motors, serving as corporate vice president of Research & Development. In addition to driving innovation into today’s vehicles, Burns led GM’s development of a new automotive “DNA” that marries electrically driven and “connected vehicle” technologies. The goal is to realize sustainable personal mobility with smart vehicles that are aspirational and affordable. He has been a major voice for the “reinvention” of the automobile and the diversification of transportation energy. Within GM, he personally championed vehicle electrification, “connected” vehicles, fuel cells, bio-fuels, advanced batteries, autonomous driving, and a series of innovative concept vehicles. He has been a leading advocate for design and technology innovation focused on the total customer experience and the application of operations research. Burns holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, where he is a member of the Advisory Council for its Institute of Transportation Studies. Burns recently completed a book (with Professor William J. Mitchell, MIT, and Christopher E. Borroni-Bird, General Motors) entitled Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century. It is scheduled for publication in January 2010.

June 21, 2009-January 3, 2010: Bronx Tree Museum

Professor Lackner’s air capture concept is now part of a “tree museum” in the Bronx, NY.  Professor Lackner recorded an audio guide segment on the carbon cycle and using synthetic trees to remove CO2 from the air for The Tree Museum, a public art project conceived by artist Katie Holten, giving voice to 100 trees lining the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. The open-air museum features short recordings in celebration of the communities and ecosystems along this 100 year-old boulevard. The Tree Museum is a collaborative project by The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wave Hill, and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, visit the Tree Museum site.

April 29, 2009: Peter Lyons, Commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Lenfest Center sponsored a Young Professionals in Energy of New York event entitled Examining A Carbon-Free Alternative — An Evening with US Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner, Dr. Peter Lyons. Dr. Lyons is a Commissioner of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and was introduced by Chris Gadomski, Managing Editor of Nuclear Research at New Energy Finance, who also presented some analysis on the prospects of a nuclear energy renaissance.   During his presentation, Commissioner Lyons addressed the value of the independent role played by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); the NRC’s licensing process for new reactors; the current status of our new reactor licensing work; and some of the major challenges that he sees for the NRC and the nation in the area of nuclear technologies.

April 21, 2009: Jamestown CCS Symposium

The Lenfest Center co-sponsored a one-day forum entitled “Developing New York’s Legal and Regulatory Framework for Carbon Capture and Sequestration.”  The event’s co-sponsors were the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.  This forum highlighted the policy and regulatory issues associated with carbon capture and sequestration technology, especially as they apply to a potential CCS demonstration plant under consideration in Jamestown, NY.  Opening remarks were delivered by Jeffrey Sachs and Klaus Lackner, as well as Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner for Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy, New York; and Paul DeCotis, New York State Deputy Secretary for Energy.

July 2, 2008: Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide, NOVA Interview

Professor Lackner appeared in the July 2 segment of PBS’s NOVA ScienceNOW entitled “Capturing Carbon.”

Watch here.

April 30, 2008: Sub-Seabed Storage of Carbon Dioxide

On April 30, the LCSE, the New York State Energy Research and Demonstration Authority, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation co?sponsored an all?day workshop on Sub?Seabed Storage of Carbon Dioxide.

Fall 2007- Spring 2008: Carbon Colloquium

During the fall and spring semesters, the LCSE sponsored a series of evening lectures on carbon policy by researchers from across the University. Speakers included: Wally Broecker (Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lamont?Doherty): Steve Hammer (Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Urban Energy Project, SIPA); Cassidy Johnson (Post?doctoral Research Fellow, the Earth Institute): Christian Klose (Post?Doctoral Research Scientist, SEAS): Klaus Lackner (Professor of Geophysics and Department Chair, Earth and Environmental Engineering, SEAS); Louis LeGuyader (Adjunct Assistant Professor, Economics Department); Shahid Naeem (Professor and Department Chair, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, GSAS); David Nissen (Professor and Director of International Energy Management and Policy Program, SIPA); Ulrich Wagner (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the Earth Institute).