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Zero: The Climate Race
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Zero: The Climate Race

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Zero is about the tactics and technologies taking us to a world of zero emissions. Each week Bloomberg’s award-winning reporter Akshat Rathi talks to the people tackling climate change – a venture capitalist hunting for the best cleantech investment, scientists starting companies, politicians who have successfully created climate laws, and CEOs who have completely transformed their businesses. The road to zero emissions has many paths and everyone’s got an opinion about the best route. Listen in.
108 Episodes
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The 2016 fire that encircled the oil-producing town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate and left billions of dollars in damage in its wake. It was a disaster of record-breaking proportions, but also an inevitable byproduct of mankind’s obsession with burning fossil fuels. In this episode, John Vaillant, author of Fire Weather: A True Story from A Hotter World, explains how Canada’s fossil fuel industry came into being, why its existence made the Fort McMurray disaster more likely, and what our collective obsession with fire means for the future of our species. Explore further: Past episode about the COP28 text and the significance of agreeing to transition off fossil fuels Past episode with Bloomberg Opinion columnist David Fickling about whether the world has reached peak crude oil demand Past episode about how wildfire smoke and air pollution affect your health Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
All of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors were shut down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. As the country's energy needs soar, debate is heating up over whether to bring the world’s largest nuclear plant back online. In this bonus from The Big Take Asia, host K. Oanh Ha speaks to reporter Shoko Oda about her visit to the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant and the challenges to rebooting it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Over the past 18 months, Tesla has missed its sales goals, seen its share price fall and waded through a series of dramatic decisions from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who cut car prices, fired much of the Supercharger team and announced nebulous plans to release a robotaxi. All of that looks like a pivot away from the original mission of making mass-market electric cars, but does Tesla going off course really matter to the EV transition? On this week’s Zero, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Liam Denning digs into Tesla’s strategy and what its evolution means for global adoption of electric cars.  Explore further: Past episode with Carnegie Mellon University professor Venkat Viswanathan on the futuristic promises of flying cars and emission-free aviation Past episode with Bloomberg NEF’s Colin McKerracher on why China has been successful in the EV transition where others haven’t been Past bonus episode with Bloomberg NEF’s Colin McKerracher on electrifying vans, trucks, and buses. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Brendan Newnam, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Depending on who you ask, AI is either going to save the world or end it. The technology’s capacity for data-crunching and problem-saving can help predict weather events, making it easier to optimize power grids, prepare for natural disasters and maximize crop output. But artificial intelligence is also energy intensive – and easy to apply to ethically questionable ends. For all of these reasons, Priya Donti, professor of electrical engineering and AI at MIT, decided to found Climate Change AI, a group dedicated to applying AI to tackle climate problems.   Donti tells Akshat Rathi about some of the projects the group is funding around the world, and what the democratization of AI would look like in practice.   Explore further: Past episode about Microsoft’s rising AI emissions, and President Brad Smith’s claim that the AI will do more good than harm Past episode with African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina about climate innovation projects across the African continent Past episode with climate scientist and  champion for developing countries Saleemul Huq Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Microsoft’s recent push to capitalize on artificial intelligence has made it the world’s most valuable company. But according to new figures, that ambition is coming  at the expense of its climate goals. In 2020, the company pledged to be carbon-negative by the end of the decade. Instead, its emissions rose 30% between 2020 and 2023. Microsoft President Brad Smith says the company isn’t giving up on its green goals — and that the good AI can do for the world will outweigh its environmental impact.  Akshat tells Zero producer Mythili Rao about his conversation with Smith, and how other tech giants will be making similar calculations. Explore further: Past episode  with BNEF’s Jenny Chase on how to triple renewable energy by 2030 Past episode with Notre Dame professor Emily Grubert about the possibility of carbon capture Past episode with Electra CEO Sandeep Nijhawan on making zero emissions steel Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Dina Bass, and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
After 14 years as a member of Parliament for the UK’s Conservative Party, Chris Skidmore quit the government in January — an act of protest over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to allow new oil and gas licenses. Skidmore says the party has lost its way when it comes to climate issues, costing the UK lives, jobs and opportunities for economic growth. In this episode, Skidmore also discusses the Net Zero Review he published while in office, and talks through climate solutions emerging outside of Westminster.  Explore further: Past episode with Chris Stark of the UK’s Climate Change Committee about whether the era of climate consensus is over  Past episode with Bryony Worthington, one of the authors of the UK’s Climate Change Act  Past episode with three US governors– Republican and Democrat– about how they  navigate partisan politics and the need for climate action.  Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Five years ago, the Green Party celebrated its best-ever results in European elections, ushering in a new era of legislative progress But Covid-19, inflation, supply chain woes and Russia’s war in Ukraine stalled its ambitions. Now, in the face of lagging poll numbers, Dutch Member of European Parliament Bas Eickhout is trying to convince voters that the party’s vision of an equal and ecological Europe is still relevant – and isn’t too costly.  Explore further: Past episode with Daniel Fiorino on the challenge of democratic consensus-building when it comes to prioritizing climate policy Past episode exploring the government interventions that allowed Danish fossil fuel giant Orsted to become the world's largest developer of wind power Past episode with Europe's top industrialist Jim Hagemann Snabe on helping industrial behemoths reach climate goals Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Alicia Clanton and John Ainger. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Africa currently loses between $7 billion and $15 billion a year because of climate change. If that trend continues, the sum could reach $50 billion by 2030. But African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina sees a way forward. He describes the financial instruments the bank is using to encourage investors to fund green development projects across the continent. Adesina talks about making climate investments more attractive globally, and unpacks the projects the bank is already funding – from solar panels in the Sahel to a hydroelectric dam in Mozambique.  Explore further: Past episode with Avinash Persaud on simplifying the complexities of climate finance Past episode exploring how Brookfield Asset Management is making renewables profitable all around the world Past episode discussing how to get big money to invest in projects that help people adapt to a world that's already hotter than ever before Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Mythili Rao, Magnus Henriksen, and Oscar Boyd. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Denmark’s Vestas has been making wind turbines exclusively since 1989 — well before the notion of an energy transition was commonplace. But that foresight hasn’t made for smooth sailing: When Henrik Andersen joined Vestas in 2013 as a board member, the company was deep in debt and shareholders were worried. A decade later, Andersen is CEO and has pulled Vestas out of trouble yet again, just as wind power is starting to play a critical role in the global energy transition. Andersen describes some of the government policies that have hindered or helped the growth of this sector, and describes the innovations making wind harvesting even more efficient.  Explore further: Listen to last week’s episode on the wind industry’s struggle and how one big player remains bullish. Read about how the wind industry is breaking free of European bureaucracy. Listen to an earlier episode on how to make the renewable energy industry profitable in developed and developing countries. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Mythili Rao, Sommer Saadi and Magnus Henriksson. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Will Mathis. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
If you've paid much attention to the wind industry lately, the news isn’t great. Building new projects is getting more expensive and getting government permission to do it is taking longer than ever. Even major players like Orsted, Vestas and Siemens are struggling.  But it's not all negative — there are still big players winning in wind. One of them is Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. This week, Bloomberg Green senior reporter Akshat Rathi speaks with CIP founder and managing partner Jakob Baruël Poulsen to understand how the industry is dealing with its many challenges, why CIP is still profitable and what will be needed for wind deployment to keep pace with climate goals.  Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Tiffany Tsoi, Sommer Saadi and Magnus Henriksson. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Will Mathis. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Clean energy technologies saw a record influx of investment last year: $1.7 trillion in total. But that still falls short of what’s needed to meet climate goals. With venture capital investment now falling, it’s increasingly difficult for startups to gain traction.  Claire Curry, global head of technology, industry & innovation at BloombergNEF, follows the journeys of many young companies in the clean-tech space. On this week’s Zero, Curry tells Akshat Rathi about the kinds of innovative pathways that have proven successful. LanzaTech, for example, a nine-year-old carbon recycling technology company, works with Chinese steel companies looking for low-emissions solutions. H2 Green Steel also scaled quickly, in part through agreements reached with Mercedes Benz, IKEA and other big brands looking to access low-carbon steel. Curry explains how these approaches could be replicated by other startups. Listen to Zero’s episode about green-iron startup Electra. Listen to Switched On’s episodes on clean-energy investments and plastic recycling. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Mythili Rao, Magnus Henriksson, and Sommer Saadi. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When the UK’s Climate Change Committee was formed in 2008, it both signaled the country’s seriousness about its environmental goals and gave other nations a template for setting their own climate policy. More recently, though, the UK appears to be backpedaling: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has approved new oil and gas licenses and pushed back a ban on fossil fuel cars. To understand how we got to this contentious moment, and how the UK can reclaim leadership, Zero host Akshat Rathi sat down with the CCC’s chief executive, Chris Stark.  Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Mythili Rao, Sommer Saadi and Magnus Henriksson. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Jessica Nix. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The plastic problem is everywhere: in our oceans, communities, even inside our bodies. Plastic is abundant and very cheap, and the amount we produce is expected to triple by 2060 from 430 million tons a year to 1.2 billion tons, according to the OECD. The large amount of plastic could produce four billion tons of greenhouse gases, so a fix is becoming increasingly necessary. This week, Bloomberg Green senior reporter Akshat Rathi sat down with Inger Andersen, head of the UN’s Environment Program, to talk about an upcoming treaty that tackles increasing levels of plastic. You can read the transcript of this conversation here. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Oscar Boyd and our senior producer is Christine Driscoll. Special thanks to Kira Bindrim, Leslie Kaufman and Tiffany Tsoi. Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Big Take from Bloomberg News brings you inside what’s shaping the world's economies with the smartest and most informed business reporters around the world. The context you need on the stories that can move markets. Every afternoon.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When Brookfield Asset Management launched a $15 billion fund to expand clean energy in 2021, it was the largest private fund of its kind in the world. Now Brookfield is starting a second fund with billions from Alterra, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates. Zero host Akshat Rathi sat down with Brookfield Renewable Partners CEO Connor Teskey to talk about making climate finance work. You can read the transcript of the conversation here.  Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Tiffany Tsoi, Sommer Saadi and Magnus Henriksson. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Jessica Nix. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It is now cheaper to save the world than destroy it. But is capitalism up to the challenge of preventing the climate crisis?  In his new book Climate Capitalism, Zero host Akshat Rathi introduces a dozen people who are already steering capitalism to solve the climate crisis: from the engineer who shaped China's electric car policies and the politician who helped make net-zero a UK law to the CEO who fought off a takeover attempt so he could stick with a sustainability strategy. Akshat argues that not only is capitalism capable of taking on the climate crisis, but harnessing it is the only way to solve the climate crisis in the time we have available.  And yet while some improvements have been made over the past few years, the world is off track to meet its 2050 climate targets. So today on Zero, Bloomberg’s Greener Living editor Kira Bindrim sits down with Akshat to discuss his new book, and asks him: If climate capitalism is so doable, why does it seem so difficult?  Read more:  Order Akshat’s new book, Climate Capitalism Listen to the interview with Fatih Birol that Akshat mentions  Hear Akshat and Kira talk about the reality of carbon footprints Read a transcript of this episode Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Oscar Boyd and our senior producer is Christine Driscoll. Special thanks to Anna Mazarakis, Gilda di Carli and Kira Bindrim. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit bloomberg.com/green. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
John Kerry is the Forrest Gump of climate. The guy you’ll find at every important turn in history doing something impactful. For the last three years, he has been the US special presidential envoy for climate and tasked with restoring the US’s global credibility on climate action. In a conversation with Akshat Rathi, Kerry reflects on those efforts, his frustrations and what still keeps him going at 80. Read Bloomberg Green's feature looking at Kerry's work in the envoy role. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producers are Tiffany Tsoi, Sommer Saadi and Magnus Henriksson. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Jen Dlouhy. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Deal, hosted by Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly, features intimate conversations with business titans, sports champions and game-changing entrepreneurs who reveal their investment philosophies, pivotal career moves and the ones that got away. From Bloomberg Podcasts and Bloomberg Originals, The Deal is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, Bloomberg Carplay, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch The Deal on Bloomberg Television, and Bloomberg Originals on YouTube.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Tom Steyer is a hedge-fund billionaire who made his money investing in distressed assets, including fossil fuel projects. He’s also an avowed climate activist and a major donor to US politicians seeking to tackle climate change. After a short-lived run for president, Steyer in 2021 set up Galvanize Climate Solutions, a firm that invests in companies and technologies promising emissions reductions this decade. It recently raised $1 billion.  Zero host Akshat Rathi spoke with Steyer at COP28 in December, to ask why he got out of fossil fuels, the consequences of bad carbon accounting, and what the return of Donald Trump would mean for global climate ambitions.  Read more:  Tom Steyer Launches New Climate Tech Investment Fund With $1 Billion - Bloomberg Greening US Apartments Is New Project of Billionaire Tom Steyer - Bloomberg   Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Oscar Boyd and our senior producer is Christine Driscoll. Special thanks to Kira Bindrim, Tiffany Tsoi. Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This January, Davos will once again host the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting and bring together the world's business and political elite. In recent years, climate change has climbed ever further up the agenda at this high-altitude event. How did it happen? Akshat Rathi talks to Gail Whiteman, one person responsible for it. Gail is the founder of the Arctic Basecamp, and since 2017 has camped out for the week of Davos to deliver the urgent message about climate risks and the immense dangers it poses to the world economy. Read more about the state of snow in Davos and why the business elite are starting to care. Read a transcript of this episode, here. Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Oscar Boyd and our senior producer is Christine Driscoll. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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