Covering the value of diverse viewpoints, international cooperation, technology optimism, and decarbonizing the private sector in a discussion with Resources for the Future President and CEO Richard G. Newell on the Real Decarbonization podcast.
In a recent episode of the Real Decarbonization podcast, host and Adamantine Energy founder and CEO Tisha Schuller talks with Richard G. Newell, president and CEO of Resources for the Future (RFF), about decarbonization efforts in the private sector. Newell discusses the value of diverse viewpoints when solving the climate problem, the benefits of international cooperation on climate issues, why he’s optimistic for the future, and RFF’s niche within the policy ecosystem.
- The private sector needs to follow through on net-zero pledges: “Companies need to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operations, and they need to reduce that to net-zero emissions over time, meaning that the emissions that continue to exist are offset by a carbon dioxide removal somewhere else. This really needs to be not just an aspiration … it has to become a reality.” (3:48)
- Causes for climate optimism: “One [thing] I’m really quite optimistic about [is] the innovation and deployment of the wide range of technologies that are needed to solve the climate problem … The second thing I’m optimistic about is the shift in attention to decisions centered around net-zero emissions, which is also a pretty recent phenomenon. From the technology side, we all know that the costs of renewables have come down dramatically—that opens up opportunities. It’s not just that; it’s also the expansiveness of the set of different technological options, whether it’s advanced nuclear or carbon capture and storage, direct air capture, synthetic fuels, or advanced geothermal—I mean, if you think back to just a decade ago, the list has continued to expand.” (23:36)
- Including a diversity of stakeholders supports climate efforts: “It’s incredibly important, from a political and stakeholder-inclusivity perspective, to have a broad technological viewpoint and resource viewpoint on solving the climate problem. It allows different stakeholders, different geographies, different political parties, [and] different countries to see themselves as part of the solution, given their own domestic and natural comparative advantages. I think that’s been a very important shift.” (24:44)