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Explaining the key scientific ideas, technologies, and policies relevant to the global climate crisis.

Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.69

Follow the carbon trail: quantifying a corporate carbon footprint

with Charles Cannon of RMI

Calls for transparent information on the carbon footprint of a product, service, company or government are getting louder from consumers and investors, and will likely be soon codified in regulations like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule on climate risk reporting for publicly traded companies. But how do you actually account for all the emissions released in the production process or in a company activity? Is it even possible to accurately quantify?

Charles Cannon, a manager of RMI’s climate intelligence program, investigates ways to improve the quality of product level greenhouse gas information (like how much CO2 was released to manufacture your new refrigerator?). He sat down with Climate Now to explain the challenges involved in carbon accounting – the term for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions – and how those challenges might be addressed.

Featuring:

Charles Cannon
Manager, Climate Intelligence, RMI

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Charles Cannon

Manager, Climate Intelligence, RMI

Charles is a Manager with RMI’s Climate Intelligence program, working at the intersection of environmental reporting, technology, and industrial decarbonization. Charles oversees a team that improves disclosure and exchange of GHG data in mining, metals, fuels, and electricity by developing impact-based reporting guidance. By developing a community of practice across NGO, governmental, and corporate practitioners, Charles works within RMI’s Horizon Zero team to close the ambition action gap between corporate sustainability goals and emissions reduction.

Before joining RMI, Charles went to school for mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and worked as an engineer for a solar company, designing 50MW+ of commercial & industrial solar projects across the US.

Date: 09.20.2022 Running Time: 22 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.68

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act for climate?

w/ Jesse Jenkins

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into U.S. law by President Joe Biden on August 16th, might be the biggest climate investment in history, but it does not look much like the kinds of policies that have been most championed by climate activists and economists. There is no carbon tax, no cap and trade program, no specific emissions targets. Instead, the law combines a slew of incentives like rebates and tax credits aimed to encourage significant growth of the clean energy and electric vehicle sectors.

To understand what is in the IRA, and what exactly its impact could be on reducing national greenhouse gas emissions, we spoke with Dr. Jesse Jenkins, who leads the REPEAT Project at Princeton University. Dr. Jenkins’ team performed an independent climate and economic impact analysis of the IRA, and he walked us through the details of the climate mitigation measures in this package: what decarbonization strategies are being employed, who is most impacted by the measure, and how much emissions reduction will result from the policies of this bill.

Featuring:

Jesse Jenkins
Assistant Professor

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Jesse Jenkins

Assistant Professor

Jesse Jenkins is an macro-energy systems engineer and assistant professor at Princeton Univervity. Jesse is a lead researcher for the Rapid Energy Policy Evaluation and Analysis Toolkit Project, or REPEAT Project, which studies the environmental and economic impacts of climate policy.

Date: 09.06.2022 Running Time: 32 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.67

Can oceans save us? Part III: The laws of the sea

w/ Romany Webb and James Lindsay

International waters don’t belong to anybody, but everybody is connected to them. Like the global burden created by greenhouse gas emissions from any one country, company or individual, what a single country or corporation chooses to put into the ocean as a climate change solution could be felt by the global community, if it turns out to have negative consequences on ocean chemistry or ecosystems.

In this final installment of our deep dive into the potential and risks of ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques, we consider how this nascent industry should be monitored and regulated. We will take a look at the existing international legal frameworks relevant to ocean CDR – how they originated, how they apply, who is responsible for enforcing them, and what oversight needs to be put in place before these technologies start to scale up.

Featuring:

James Lindsay
Vice President of Investment, Builders Vision

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James Lindsay

Vice President of Investment, Builders Vision

James Lindsay is the Vice President of Investment at Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to supporting people and organizations building a more humane and healthy planet through philanthropy, investment and advocacy.

Romany Webb
Senior Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

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Romany Webb

Senior Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Romany Webb is an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia Law School and Senior Fellow at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Her research is focused on energy and negative emissions technologies.

Date: 08.23.2022 Running Time: 25 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.66

Can oceans save us? Part II: The tricky science of ocean carbon capture

w/ Mowgli Holmes, John Barry Gallagher, and Greg Rau

Did you know plastic bags were originally intended to be an environmental solution? The idea was to replace paper bags in an effort to reduce deforestation. In 1935, cane toads were another fix – they were introduced to Australian sugarcane plantations to control insect pests. But, the ecological disaster this invasive species created far outweighed their agricultural benefit. It is often hard to anticipate the downstream environmental impacts of our actions, even when we are working in good faith to solve a problem. Given the globally interconnected nature of the oceans, and the reality that oceans are so underexplored that we have better maps of other planets in our solar system than we do of the ocean floor, ocean carbon dioxide removal technologies are a category ripe for unintended consequences.

So does it make sense to proceed, to continue developing ocean CDR technologies? What are start-ups doing to determine whether their approaches will be safe and effective? What kind of regulatory oversight will be needed for these technologies, and what kinds of information will they have to consider to assess safety and efficacy?

In this second installment of our three-part series, we apply a healthy dose of skepticism to these developing ocean CDR technologies. We ask how we can effectively monitor the impacts of ocean CDR, if it can be done at all, and who should be doing it.

Featuring:

Greg Rau
Co-founder and CTO, Planetary Technologies

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Greg Rau

Co-founder and CTO, Planetary Technologies

Greg Rau is a biogeochemist, and a Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Planetary Technologies. Planetary has developed a method of performing Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE) that they believe, if done at scale, can rebalance the carbon in our atmosphere and oceans.

John Barry Gallagher

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John Barry Gallagher

John Barry Gallagher is a Research Associate with the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania. He is a b

Mowgli Holmes
Co-founder and CEO, Submarine

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Mowgli Holmes

Co-founder and CEO, Submarine

Mowgli Holmes is a bioligist, and co-founder and CEO of Submarine,

Date: 08.23.2022 Running Time: 23 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.65

Can oceans save us? Part I: Using oceans to pull more CO2 from the air

w/ Mowgli Holmes, Greg Rau, and James Lindsay

More than 4 billion years ago, when Earth was still in its infancy, the atmosphere held more than 100,000 times the amount of CO2 it does today. Ever so slowly, that CO2 was absorbed into the oceans, where it reacted with rocks of the seafloor or was scavenged by organisms, eventually becoming trapped in sediment and slowly sequestered into Earth’s deep interior. This is the Earth’s deep-carbon cycle – nature’s way of regulating greenhouse gasses.

This week, Climate Now takes you on a special three-part podcast series that explores a novel suite of technologies, termed Ocean Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), that aims to speed up Earth’s natural GHG regulator by enhancing the biogeochemical processes already happening in the oceans. In our first episode, we are joined by a suite of entrepreneurs who see the climate-saving and profit-making potential of Ocean CDR, who walk us through what these technologies are, how they work, and why they could be so valuable to mitigating climate change.

Featuring:

Greg Rau
Co-founder and CTO, Planetary Technologies

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Greg Rau

Co-founder and CTO, Planetary Technologies

Greg Rau is a biogeochemist, and a Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Planetary Technologies. Planetary has developed a method of performing Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE) that they believe, if done at scale, can rebalance the carbon in our atmosphere and oceans.

James Lindsay
Vice President of Investment, Builders Vision

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James Lindsay

Vice President of Investment, Builders Vision

James Lindsay is the Vice President of Investment at Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to supporting people and organizations building a more humane and healthy planet through philanthropy, investment and advocacy.

Mowgli Holmes
Co-founder and CEO, Submarine

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Mowgli Holmes

Co-founder and CEO, Submarine

Mowgli Holmes is a bioligist, and co-founder and CEO of Submarine,

Date: 08.23.2022 Running Time: 27 min
Recent Podcast

On June 30, 2022, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision on the case “EPA v. West Virginia,” ruling in a 6-3 vote that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority by setting greenhouse gas emissions standards that would effectively require utilities to shift away from fossil fuel-sourced power generation to renewables.

At the time of the decision, it was met with a raft of alarmist headlines, forecasting that it would be a disaster for climate change mitigation, and that it threatens the future regulatory authority of all federal agencies. Is it really that bad?

In this episode, Michael Gerrard, professor of professional practice in climate change law and policy at Columbia University, helps us understand exactly what the EPA v. West Virginia decision said, and what its impact is likely to be.

Featuring:

Michael Gerrard
Faculty Director at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University

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Michael Gerrard

Faculty Director at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University

Michael Gerrard is a professor and faculty director at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. Before joining the Columbia faculty, he practiced law in New York, including at Arnold & Porter, where he remains a senior counsel at the New York office. He has written or edited 13 books on various topics in environmental and energy law.  His most recent book is Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States

Date: 08.09.2022 Running Time: 23 min
Recent Podcast

In 2017, the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant expansion – meant to hail the renaissance of nuclear power in the US – came screeching to a halt. The project, to build two new reactors at an existing South Carolina facility, was canceled after being delayed more than a year, costing $9 billion USD, and still being only 40% complete. Now, the only new nuclear project in the works in the U.S. is the Vogtle Plant expansion in Georgia; a project also more than a year behind schedule, and billions of dollars over budget. Still, nuclear projects remain a focus of government and think tank decarbonization strategies. Why?

Dr. Amory Lovins, adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, and international authority on the clean energy transition, joins Climate Now to explain why he thinks nuclear should no longer be considered as a source of energy. For Amory, it’s not just the chance of environmental catastrophe or nuclear proliferation that make it a non-starter, it’s the economics.

Featuring:

Dr. Amory Lovins
Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

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Dr. Amory Lovins

Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

Amory has been an energy advisor to major firms and governments in 70+ countries for over 45 years; is the author of 31 books and more than 700 papers; and is an integrative designer of super-efficient buildings, factories, and vehicles. Time has named Amory one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. 

Date: 07.26.2022 Running Time: 26 min
Recent Podcast

Heating, cooling and electrifying buildings produces nearly one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, but by employing existing energy efficient technologies and switching to renewables, we could cut 87% of building-related emissions by 2050. So, how do we get there?

Climate Now speaks with two companies working to eliminate the barriers to decarbonizing buildings. Andy Frank, founder of Sealed, explains how Sealed makes it easier for homeowners to implement energy efficiency improvements by reducing upfront costs and managing the improvement project. Jeff Hendler and Zhora Roy of Logical Buildings share how their company empowers real estate managers and building owners with the data they need to optimize their energy usage.

00:00 – Andy Frank, Sealed
15:58 – Jeff Hendler and Zohra Roy, Logical Buildings

 

Featuring:

Andy Frank
Founder and President, Sealed

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Andy Frank

Founder and President, Sealed

Andy Frank is an energy efficiency industry expert, with experience building companies that make money through positive environmental impacts. Prior to starting Sealed, Andy was a co-founder of Efficiency 2.0, acquired by C3 AI, an energy efficiency software company that helped utilities save energy through customer engagement software. Currently, Andy also serves on the boards of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York as well as the Energy Efficiency Alliance of New Jersey.

Jeff Hendler
Co-Founder and CEO, Logical Buildings

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Jeff Hendler

Co-Founder and CEO, Logical Buildings

Jeff Hendler serves as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Logical Buildings. Jeff represents Logical Buildings as an Innovation Member of the Smart Cities Council and Board Member of Green Button Alliance. He also serves on the executive committee of the National Energy Marketers Association as their Smart Grid Committee Chairman. In addition, he is an active voting member of the NYISO and PJM Interconnection wholesale power grids.

Zohra Roy
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Logical Buildings

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Zohra Roy

Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Logical Buildings

Zohra Roy leads product marketing efforts for Logical Buildings, where she develops and drives the strategy for various smart building software products and serves as the voice of Logical Buildings’ users. For the past 7+ years, she has led and managed digital strategy and creative execution for sustainability-based startups, all the way to large biotech and pharmaceutical companies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy & Sustainability Management from The New School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and Sustainability from The George Washington University.

Date: 07.12.2022 Running Time: 35 min
Recent Episode

Using carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies to mitigate climate change is a land-intensive endeavor. To capture one gigatonne of CO2 through direct air capture requires a facility & energy production footprint of at least hundreds, but potentially tens of thousands of square kilometers. To capture one gigatonne of CO2 via reforestation requires about 862,000 square kilometers of arable land (nearly the size of the Kalahari Desert). We currently release about 40 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, so…do the math.

And land that is allocated for CDR must compete with other land use claims: for urbanization, agriculture, biodiversity, and renewable energy technologies. 

But what if our perspective was slightly… more aqueous?

Oceans, which make up 70% of the Earth’s surface, already absorb more than 10 billion tonnes of CO2 annually. Would it be more effective to sequester CO2 in the oceans, rather than on land? If so, how would we facilitate increased ocean CO2 uptake safely?  What processes and technologies exist today, and how well do we understand them?

Featuring:

Kim Mayfield
Geochemist & Research Scientist

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Kim Mayfield

Geochemist & Research Scientist

Dr. Kimberley Mayfield is research scientist (Ph.D.) with experience in biogeochemical project design and management, quantitative data analysis, and science communication. She specializes in carbon dioxide removal, geochemistry, and environmental justice.

Wil Burns
Visiting Professor at Northwestern University

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Wil Burns

Visiting Professor at Northwestern University

Wil Burns is a visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Environmental Policy and Culture Program and emeritus co-founding director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University.

Dr. Burns is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and served as the Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at The Johns Hopkins University.

Date: 06.28.2022 Read Transcript Running Time: 16 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.61

Is there a profitable approach to carbon capture and storage?

with George Peridas, Jonathan Kusel, and Joshuah Stolaroff

In the international carbon offset market, the average price of removing one tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere is still below $15 USD, nowhere near enough to cover the costs of carbon capture and storage (CCS). As Dr. Sheila Olmstead (University of Texas, Austin) explained in a recent Climate Now podcast episode, this is why CCS is one of the few climate technologies not experiencing exponential growth. “Unless there’s a market for captured CO2, then it doesn’t make economic sense… to adopt these carbon capture technologies.” 

But what if, instead of making captured CO2 the only marketable product, the capture is accomplished while also producing other goods and services?

Climate Now spoke with three pioneers developing startup programs in California that plan to use biowaste (that is, agricultural residues or vegetation cleared from forests to increase their resiliency to drought, fire or infestation) to produce hydrogen fuel and CO2. The technique is called ‘bioenergy and carbon capture and storage,’ or BECCS. The hydrogen can be sold and the CO2 captured and stored underground. Join us for our discussion with George Peridas of Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Jonathan Kusel of the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, and Josh Stolaroff of Mote, to hear how this approach could make CCS economically feasible, perhaps even profitable, while also providing a benefit to local communities already experiencing the worst impacts of climate change, and an essential service for the well-being of our planet.

Featuring:

George Peridas
Director, Carbon Management Partnerships at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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George Peridas

Director, Carbon Management Partnerships at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

George Peridas is the Energy Program Director, Carbon Management Partnerships at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is responsible for promoting partnerships that result in the advancement and deployment of carbon management solutions and technologies, including the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or so-called negative emissions. George’s recent experience of over a decade in the environmental NGO world has made him well versed in the fields of policy, legislation and regulation relevant to climate change, carbon management and energy, and keenly aware of the spectrum of views that need to be reconciled in order to reach meaningful consensus in this field.

George’s background in energy markets consulting and scientific research in an academic environment enable him to translate complex information into lay language in order to advance multiple goals.

Jonathan Kusel
Executive Director at Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

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Jonathan Kusel

Executive Director at Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

Jonathan founded the Sierra Institute in 1993 and has directed the organization ever since. He received a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sociology and Policy from U.C. Berkeley, where he was an instructor before launching Sierra Institute. His dissertation focused on how rural northern Sierra communities changed following the departure of their wood products anchor businesses. This work, at the intersection of community and forest and watershed health formed the basis for the Sierra Institute’s mission and approach. He also holds a Masters in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Joshuah Stolaroff
Chief Technology Officer at Mote

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Joshuah Stolaroff

Chief Technology Officer at Mote

Joshuah Stolaroff is the co-founder and CTO of Mote Hydrogen. He previously ran the Carbon Capture program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and led projects at the intersection of advanced manufacturing and clean energy.

Date: 06.21.2022 Running Time: 32 min
Recent Podcast

Each year, we produce about 30 billion tonnes of concrete globally. That’s nearly 10,000 pounds, or more than 2 entire cars-worth of concrete, per person, per year.  We produce enough steel to build more than 2700 Empire State Buildings annually.  We produce more than 100 pounds of plastic per person, each year. And with all of this material production, we also produce a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nearly one-third of global GHG emissions come from industry, with steel, concrete, and chemical manufacturing (i.e. plastics) being the largest contributors. These industries are tough to decarbonize because they require performing chemical reactions at high temperatures, not easily achieved through electrification, and because they emit greenhouse gasses as a by-product.

Climate Now sat down with Dr. Rebecca Dell of the ClimateWorks Foundation, the largest philanthropic program in the world dedicated to reducing and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions that come from the material economy. Dr. Dell shares how these industries are approaching decarbonization, and what kind of technological, policy and market innovations will be needed to reduce the industrial carbon footprint.

Featuring:

Rebecca Dell
Industry Program Director, ClimateWorks Foundation

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Rebecca Dell

Industry Program Director, ClimateWorks Foundation

Dr. Rebecca Dell is the Program Director, Industry at ClimateWorks Foundation. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Obama administration, where she coordinated implementation of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and was a lead analyst and author of the U.S. Quadrennial Energy Review. Before her federal service, Rebecca was a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, studying the interaction between the ocean and land-based ice sheets like those in Greenland and Antarctica. She has a Ph.D. in climate science from MIT.

Date: 06.14.2022 Running Time: 37 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.59

Are we undervaluing energy efficiency as a decarbonization strategy?

with Roger Aines and Amory Lovins

Are we underestimating the potential of increased efficiency? It wouldn’t be the first time.

In 2021, the International Energy Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasted a 50% increase in global energy demand by 2050. Such forecasts have echoes of the 1970’s, when – in the middle of a global energy crisis – forecasters were anticipating as much as a 300% increase in energy demand over the next 3 decades. Those forecasters missed the mark by about 250%, because they didn’t count on the significant efficiency improvements in home appliances, vehicle fuel economy, industry and home energy demands that kickstarted in the 1980’s.

In this episode, featuring Dr. Amory Lovins of RMI and Dr. Roger Aines of Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), we explore whether energy forecasters are missing the mark again: projecting only incremental efficiency gains in the next 30 years, despite the fact that we already have the technologies and smart design approaches that would allow global energy demand to decrease by more than 70%, while still providing the same services of today.

Joined by a group of LLNL scientists, Amory, Roger and host James Lawler discuss the potential of smart and integrative design approaches that can provide savings in both energy emissions and costs, as well as the obstacles that are keeping us from taking full advantage of these approaches. Listen wherever you like to get your podcasts, or listen with the transcript here on climatenow.com

Featuring:

Amory Lovins
Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, RMI

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Amory Lovins

Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, RMI

Amory has been an energy advisor to major firms and governments in 70+ countries for over 45 years; is the author of 31 books and more than 700 papers; and is an integrative designer of super-efficient buildings, factories, and vehicles. Time has named Amory one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. 

Roger Aines
Energy Program Chief Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Roger Aines

Energy Program Chief Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Roger Aines is the Energy Program Chief Scientist in E Program at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which conducts government and private sector research in clean energy technology. Roger leads the Carbon Initiative, which aims to understand, develop, and implement technologies for the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so-called negative emissions technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Carleton College, and Doctor of Philosophy in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Date: 06.07.2022 Running Time: 30 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.58

Financial innovations for climate and clean energy impact

with Marilyn Waite, Climate Finance Fund

In the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the global climate finance sector reached a record 632 billion US dollars. Unfortunately – that is a little short of the more than $3 trillion US dollars needed each year to keep warming under 2 degrees C, according to the IPCC. The Climate Finance Fund (CFF) is a philanthropic organization whose mandate is to close that gap by mobilizing capital towards climate solutions.

How do they do that? CFF focuses on bringing creative climate solutions to market with early investing, and supporting industry-led initiatives and regulatory changes that encourage financial institutions to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean technology. Managing Director Marilyn Waite joined Climate Now to share the changes CFF’s projects have already brought about, who the big disruptors are in climate finance, and how to get the world’s biggest banks and lenders to take note that it is time to go green.

Featuring:

Marilyn Waite
Managing Director, Climate Finance Fund

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Marilyn Waite

Managing Director, Climate Finance Fund

Marilyn leads the Climate Finance Fund. She has worked across four continents in renewable and nuclear energy, and climate modeling and investment. Author of Sustainability at Work: careers that make a difference, Marilyn’s writing has been featured in the Financial Times, Forbes, and GreenBiz, where she serves as editor at large. Marilyn previously led the energy practice at Village Capital, modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change as a senior research fellow at Project Drawdown, and managed innovation projects at Orano (formerly AREVA). She holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

Date: 05.31.2022 Running Time: 28 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.57

How to meet electricity demand while greening the grid

with EJ Baik, Stanford University

Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Princeton University, and the IPCC have all published proposed climate mitigation pathways: strategies for economically reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century for California, the U.S., and the world, respectively. And they are not alone (for example: here and here and here). Any given pathway to net-zero emissions offers some combination of efficiency improvements, expansion of renewable energy sources, and some amount of so-called “negative emissions,” using technologies and natural processes that capture and store carbon. But what determines the ratio of these three decarbonization methods? What determines which particular ratio will produce the lowest-cost and most feasible pathway for society?

Climate Now sat down with Dr. EJ Baik, to discuss her research on the least-cost pathway for decarbonizing California’s electrical grid by 2045. EJ explains how major decarbonization pathways are modeled, the assumptions behind those models, and why sometimes the most economical way to reach net-zero is not what you’d expect.

Featuring:

EJ Baik
Recent PhD Graduate, Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University

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EJ Baik

Recent PhD Graduate, Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University

Dr. EJ Baik is a recent PhD graduate in the department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University. Her research focuses on decarbonization of large-scale energy systems, and most recently she worked to model pathways to achieve a net-zero energy grid in California by 2045. She holds a PhD degree from Stanford University and a Bachelors in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University.

Date: 05.23.2022 Running Time: 34 min
Recent Podcast
Podcast Episode 1.56

Will the clean energy transition be cheaper than we thought?

with Dr. Doyne Farmer

The recent working paper by Rupert Way, Matthew Ives, Penny Mealy, and Doyne Farmer, Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition, suggests that the high estimates of the expense to transition to renewable energy have been inflated, and that it may in fact be cheaper to transition to renewables than to stay on fossil fuels, regardless of the costs of the changing climate. Using probabilistic cost forecasting methods, the authors of the paper project that because of the exponentially decreasing cost curve of renewables like wind and solar, fossil fuels will become nearly obsolete in just 25 years.

Climate Now spoke with co-author of the paper, Dr. Doyne Farmer, to better understand their model and predictions.

Featuring:

Doyne Farmer
Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

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Doyne Farmer

Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

Dr. Farmer is the Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Baillie Gifford Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. While a graduate student in the 1970s, Dr. Farmer built the first wearable digital computer, which was successfully used to predict the game of roulette. 

Date: 05.17.2022 Running Time: 28 min
Recent Episode
Video Episode 4.1

Green Transportation: The Power of Electric Vehicles

Electric vs Gas-Powered Emissions

Adopting green transportation and transitioning to a 100% electric fleet requires a momentous cultural, technological, and infrastructure overhaul of the entire global automotive industry. If we are going to undertake such a task, we have to know that it will bring significant results in reducing emissions. So what is the real impact of going electric?

As part of our decarbonizing transportation series, we sat down and did the math. We looked at the net carbon dioxide emissions of an EV over its lifecycle versus lifecycle emissions of a gas-powered vehicle to find out just what the climate benefit of going electric could be.

Featuring:

Andy Stevenson
EV Battery Materials Advisor and Investor

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Andy Stevenson

EV Battery Materials Advisor and Investor

Andy Stevenson is an electric vehicle battery materials advisor and investor. Previously, Stevenson was Chief Financial Officer of Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company, and a Special Projects Associate at Tesla.

Nathan Ratledge
TomKat Center Graduate Fellow, Stanford University

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Nathan Ratledge

TomKat Center Graduate Fellow, Stanford University

Nathan is the founder of the environmental consulting company Apogee Economics and Policy, and the TomKat Center Graduate Fellow in Sustainable Energy at Stanford University. His research is focused on the economics and financing of clean energy in the developing world.

Date: 03.01.2022 Read Transcript Running Time: 15 min