When President Trump walked away from the US target under the Paris Agreement, we knew states, cities, and businesses needed to pick up the mantle of climate leadership. But people wanted to know: what difference can these bottom-up initiatives make? Is America’s pledge still within reach despite the abdication of…
Paul Bodnar is a Managing Director at the Rocky Mountain Institute, where he oversees the institute’s programs in global climate finance and US subnational climate action.
Paul served in the Obama White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change at the National Security Council. Paul was a key architect of the Obama Administration’s international climate policies, including the historic U.S.-China presidential joint climate announcement of November 2014, the OECD agreement to strictly limit public financing for coal-fired power plants, and the doubling of clean energy research and development budgets by 20 major countries through the Mission Innovation initiative. He played a principal role in formulating U.S. strategy for the Paris Climate Conference.
Paul previously served at the State Department as lead negotiator for climate finance and Counselor to the Special Envoy for Climate Change. At the State Department, Paul led the design and implementation of several pioneering finance initiatives including the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance; the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative; and the world’s first market-based approach to allocating concessional funding for climate mitigation (the World Bank’s Pilot Auction Facility).
Earlier in his career, Paul worked as a Director for Carbon Finance at the $1.2 billion carbon fund managed by London-based Climate Change Capital. He was also co-founder and partner at Vertis Environmental Finance, now one of Europe’s leading environmental commodity brokerage firms. Paul also served as investment advisor for the Sustainable Asset Fund at Vision Ridge Partners. He is a senior associate (non-resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and serves on the Board of the Carbon Tracker Initiative.
BA in Political Science, Stanford University
MA in Political Science, Harvard University