Deborah Gordon

Energy and Climate Program
Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally.


MPP, University of California, Berkeley
BS, University of Colorado, Boulder




Deborah Gordon is director of Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, where her research focuses on oil and climate change issues in North America and globally. 

Gordon has managed an active energy and environmental consulting practice, taught at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and directed the Energy Policy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She began her career with Chevron. She is the author of two books, Steering a New Course and Two Billion Cars (with Daniel Sperling), and numerous other publications.

  • Op-Ed Cipher Brief September 29, 2015
    Drivers of Future Supply

    Three pillars underpin the machinations in tomorrow’s global oil markets: economics, geopolitics, and the environment.

  • Op-Ed National Interest September 9, 2015
    Arctic Oil’s Place at the Climate-Change Table

    Without reliable, publicly available knowledge about Arctic oil’s scientific specifications, we cannot realistically assess the hazards of Arctic resource development.

  • Op-Ed Hill August 10, 2015
    The Third Fossil Fuel in the Climate Conversation

    The United States has to figure out how to deal with the climate impacts of its homegrown oil revolution.

  • Boao Review July 31, 2015
    Creating an Oil-Climate Index: Key Lessons for Asian Policymakers

    Oil policies in Asia will drive oil development practices and protections worldwide, but they require transparency and data disclosure so that Asia’s decision-makers can better weigh their oil options.

  • Op-Ed Oil July 8, 2015
    At the Heart of OPEC: Strategies and Reflections

    OPEC is being challenged on many fronts. In order to survive, the organization may need to innovate, regroup, restructure, and renew its mission.

  • Op-Ed Christian Science Monitor June 21, 2015
    In New Energy Era, What Counts as ‘Oil’?

    From its sheer volumes to what it’s made of and its environmental impacts, the next century of oil will likely be very different from the last.

  • Op-Ed National Interest May 5, 2015
    Avoiding an Oil-Climate Collision

    Oil data transparency and oil-climate oversight deserve a seat at the upcoming climate talks this winter. While worldwide economic dependence on oil presents barriers, the global economic risks of climate change requires strategic navigation.

  • Report March 11, 2015 Full Text
    Know Your Oil: Creating a Global Oil-Climate Index

    Oil is changing. Conventional oil resources are dwindling as tight oil, oil sands, heavy oils, and others emerge.

  • Op-Ed Scientific American January 30, 2015
    Beyond Oil Sands: The Carbonates are Coming

    The Keystone XL pipeline is a canary in the mine. It is a warning of what’s to come.

  • Op-Ed Boao Review January 5, 2015
    Insecurity from Asia’s Growing Oil Imbalance

    As many economies across Asia are slowing, it is an opportune time to think strategically about physical resource limitations, associated environmental concerns, and evolving geopolitical realities.

  • Platts September 14, 2015
    Index for Crude Oil’s Climate Impact Illuminates What’s Behind the Barrels

    Producers and consumers alike are becoming more attuned to the impact of goods of all sorts, and it's no different when it comes to a barrel of oil.

  • Environment & Energy TV March 11, 2015
    Industry Lacking Transparency

    As the range of oils and extraction methods continues to evolve, how do various oils compare with one another on their climate impacts?

  • Unconventional oil is redefining what oil is.
    U.S. Embassy Berlin September 12, 2012
    From Conventional to Unconventional Oil

    The shift from extracting, processing, and consuming conventional fuel sources to unconventional oils carries a host of still unknown consequences for international economics, technology development, and the environment.

  • E&E News May 15, 2012
    The Future of Unconventional Oil in the United States

    Significant policy, climate, and economic challenges face the use of unconventional oil as a new energy resource.

  • Deborah Gordon
    NPR's To the Point July 15, 2011
    Carmageddon and Global Congestion

    As the recent freeway closure in Los Angeles draws attention to America's reliance on the automobile, it should also prompt policymakers to consider the long-term challenge of global automobile proliferation.

  • October 19, 2015 Washington, DC
    White House Summit on Climate and the Road Through Paris

    The White House convened a summit of policymakers and U.S. businesses committing to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions and supporting climate action at the Paris climate negotiations in December.

  • October 8, 2015 Washington, DC
    Panel III: Navigating Success Through the Political Maze

    The day’s final panel was an exercise in putting their infrastructure solutions into practice in the current political climate.

  • September 30, 2015 Washington, DC
    The G7 and Decarbonization: Long-Term Thinking and the Road Ahead

    In order to accomplish the G7's announced goal to fully decarbonize by the end of this century, member states need to focus on long-lived infrastructure and policy decisions rather than year-to-year changes in energy or emissions balances, as well as the direct financial flows to decarbonization-friendly investments.

  • September 4, 2015
    Oil-Climate Index Q&A

    The Oil-Climate Index research team participated in an online Q&A to discuss the Oil-Climate Index, a first-of-its-kind tool that analyzes the overall climate impacts of different oils from extraction to refining to combustion.

  • April 13, 2015 Brussels
    The New Age of Oil: Climate Impact and Policy Responses

    Oil is changing. The oils themselves, how they are extracted and processed, and the products into which they are made are shifting in substantial ways.

  • March 11, 2015 Washington, DC
    Oil-Climate Index Release

    Oil is changing. The oils themselves, how they are extracted and processed, and the products into which they are made are shifting in substantial ways.

  • January 23, 2015 Washington, DC
    Global Oil and the Middle East Economic Outlook

    The steady decline of global oil prices since June 2014 is shifting economic, political, and strategic calculations of key Middle East actors, and adding a new element of uncertainty at a time of increased regional conflict and polarization.

  • December 3, 2014 Washington, DC
    Environmental Implications of the Global Oil Paradigm Shift

    Different oils have different environmental impacts, as do their products. These must be taken into account when writing energy policies.

  • December 2, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    China Oil Forum

    With China’s economy slowing after decades of double-digit growth, now is the time to think strategically about how the nation will deal with its physical resource limitations, their associated environmental concerns, and oil’s evolving geopolitical realities. The China Oil Forum will engage key thinkers, policymakers, and civil society in a discussion about these strategic questions.

  • July 24, 2014 Washington, DC
    The New Geopolitics of Energy: Challenges and Opportunities

    Ambassador Pascual shared his perspectives on some of the key energy issues during his tenure at the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department, as well as ongoing energy challenges.


Carnegie Oil Initiative

Oil-Climate Index

Oil-Climate Index

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036-2103 Phone: 202 483 7600 Fax: 202 483 1840
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