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On October 10-11, the SDSN co-hosted the first in a series of low-carbon technology roundtables in Washington DC in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). As made clear in the Pathways to Deep Decarbonization report, deep decarbonization rests on the large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies that are not yet commercially available or affordable. To accelerate this deployment there is a need for directed technological change, which will be made possible by research, development, demonstration and early deployment activities supported by new pubic-private partnerships.

The first roundtable brought together 60 experts from business, academia and government to begin the process of assessing the technical barriers to large-scale technology deployment as well as the potential coordinated actions that could be taken by public and private entities to overcome those barriers. The roundtable covered a broad range of technology topics, including renewable electricity generation and system integration, low carbon liquid fuels, carbon capture and storage, electric and hydrogen vehicles, and advanced building energy systems. The series of roundtable meetings will continue through 2015, culminating in proposals that will be presented at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.