The energy transition is a hot-button issue in Australia. It is the world’s largest exporter of coal and its efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions have consistently fallen short of its peers. It also faces serious risks from climate change, with damages from flooding, wildfires, and heat waves worsening nearly every year.
At the same time, Australia is one of the countries best situated to benefit from a transition to clean energy. It has immense wind and solar resources and is a leading exporter of critical minerals such as lithium, which are needed to manufacture clean energy technologies.
What will it take for Australia to emerge as a leader in the clean energy economy? How can policymakers untangle the difficult politics of climate change? And how is the energy transition shaping Australia’s relations with other countries?
This week host Jason Bordoff talks with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about how the Australian government is approaching the energy transition.
He was Australia’s 29th prime minister, serving in the role from 2015 to 2018.
Prime Minister Turnbull began his parliamentary career in 2004, including stints as the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and later as Minister for Communications. After leaving politics in 2019, Prime Minister Turnbull joined the private equity firm KKR as a senior advisor. He is also the inaugural chair of the Global Hydrogen Organisation and will become president of the International Hydropower Association on October 31, 2023.
Getting the global energy system to net-zero – a state in which it emits no more greenhouse gasses than it absorbs – means deploying clean energy infrastructure at a pace without historical precedent. The ripple effects of this transition are already apparent in business, geopolitics, and in people’s daily lives.
Increasing public concern over climate change and breakthroughs in clean energy technology have rendered this challenge more achievable. But turning this momentum into tangible progress will require careful policymaking and implementation, across all levels of government.
How might the clean energy transition reconfigure the global economy? What levers can policymakers pull to accelerate it? And what emerging solutions are already changing the outlook for net zero?
Today we’re re-running host Jason Bordoff’s interview with Cameron Hepburn about the economics of the climate crisis.
Cameron is a Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford and Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He also serves as the Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, based at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. Cameron has over 30 peer-reviewed publications spanning economics, public policy, law, engineering, philosophy, and biology.
In a summer of both heightened climate ambition and heightened alarm over climate change, this conversation was held in the aftermath of the COP27 climate summit. Jason and Cameron discussed how technology developments are accelerating the energy transition and how to scale their impact.
This summer, the African Development Bank released its annual report stating that the continent needs between $230 billion to $250 billion annually to meet its climate goals.
Africa’s climate has warmed faster than the rest of the world since pre-industrial times. That makes it extremely vulnerable to climate change driven catastrophes that hinder economic growth and highlights the need for climate action through sustainable development.
So how are Africa’s leaders addressing the climate crisis? And how are countries across the continent approaching sustainable development?
This week we’re re-running host Bill Loveless’ conversation with Destenie Nock about the climate and energy needs of African nations.
Destenie is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches civil and environmental engineering as well as engineering and public policy. She is currently a visiting faculty member at Columbia University.
Destenie is the director of the Energy, Equity, and Sustainability (EES) Group, where she leads a team of researchers at the intersection of social justice, energy analysis, and systems modeling. She has conducted extensive research on energy poverty in Africa.
This conversation was originally recorded in November 2022 during COP27 in Egypt, where Destenie participated in a panel on putting decarbonization strategies into practice. Bill and Destenie discussed how this is playing out across different parts of Africa, including specific examples of what sustainable development could look like across the continent.
The steel and cement industries are enormous and vital components of the global economy. Together, they account for roughly 16% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If the cement and steel industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter. Both industries are referred to as “hard-to-abate” sectors because of the perceived challenges in reducing their carbon emissions.
But innovations in technology and policy are changing the way experts look at these industries, opening new doors to decarbonization strategies. They’re also causing new rifts in global trade relations, as countries vie for dominance over emerging low-carbon solutions.
What are the best strategies for decarbonizing the steel and cement industries? How much progress have we made? And how is the emerging low-carbon steel and cement trade reshaping international relations?
This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Chris Bataille about the prospects for decarbonizing the steel and cement industries.
Chris is an adjunct research fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, where he studies technology and policy pathways to net zero, with a focus on industrial decarbonization. He is an associate researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations and an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University. He was also a contributing author to the IPCC 6th Assessment Report.
It’s been nearly a year and a half since Russia invaded Ukraine, plunging Europe and the world into a protracted energy crisis. Since then, the brutal fighting in Ukraine has turned into a war of attrition, and energy prices have fallen from the staggering heights they reached in mid-2022.
While the immediate crisis has faded from the headlines, Europe’s energy challenges remain. Electricity and natural gas prices are higher than normal. Policymakers face the challenge of turning the loss of Russian gas supplies into a long-term strategy for energy security and decarbonization. The ripple effects of this crisis have left emerging markets and developing countries struggling to afford energy.
How has Europe’s energy outlook evolved over the past year and a half? How are policymakers trying to secure the continent’s fuel supplies? And what does all this mean for the global energy transition?
This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Anne-Sophie Corbeau and Tatiana Mitrova about how Europe’s energy outlook has changed since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Anne-Sophie is a global research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, where she studies low-carbon fuels and natural gas. Her career in the energy industry spans over 20 years, including stints as the head of gas analysis at BP, senior gas analyst at the International Energy Agency, and research fellow at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.
Tatiana is a research fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. She is an expert on Russian energy policy, having previously served as executive director of the Energy Centre of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, and as head of research in the oil and gas department in the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She currently serves on the board of directors at Schlumberger Limited.