Climate change is a complicated web of science, politics, technology, economy, and controversy. Few understand this better than Dr. Zeke Hausfather. Where do we begin in building a solution?


In this Episode

  • A discussion with Dr. Zeke Hausfather about realistic greenhouse gas emissions trajectories.
  • The challenges of predicting human behavior.
  • Can we rely on markets and companies to innovate ourselves into a net zero economy? Where does the government fit in?
  • Dr. Zeke Hausfather’s take on the role of carbon emissions capture technology.

Episode Links

Headshot of Zeke Hausfather


Welcome back to another episode of Climatrends. I’m meteorologist Susie Martin. At the time we’ve recorded this, news of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reaching levels 50% higher than during the industrial revolution hit the headlines. This is according to measurements from the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii.

The data is clear. This is an urgent matter and unfortunately, there is no quick solution to the climate crisis. Climate change is a complicated web of science, politics, technology, economy, and controversy. With oil as the lubricant of the global economy, how can we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? Coal supplies roughly half of the electricity used in the U.S. and nearly that worldwide. Then there’s the matter of infrastructure. Approximately 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from infrastructure construction and operations such as power plants, buildings, and transport. There are layers upon layers upon layers to this.

There are two main players to the solution: the government and markets. There is a growing expectation that your company be not only prepared to handle the business implications of physical and transitional risks associated with climate change, but also do your part to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. It’s tricky because this is a moving target as policies shift and new science emerges.

Our goal with the podcast is to have meaningful discussions with true experts with a business lens and peel the layers. I’m particularly excited about our guest today. We’re going to be discussing the complicated dynamics of climate change and what this means for businesses. What technologies may be part of the solution? What is the role of government? How is this going to affect markets? One thing is for sure: going into this blindly is a dangerous proposition for your business.

Note that in this episode, we mention the IPCC AR5 report. For those that don’t know, it is the Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was released in 2014. We also briefly discuss RCP scenarios that were used in the IPCC AR5. RCP stands for representative concentration pathway. The RCP scenarios are an attempt to predict future greenhouse gas emissions trajectories based on human behavior. The four RCPs range from very high (RCP 8.5) to very low (RCP 2.6) future concentrations.

Listen in to hear our discussion with Dr. Zeke Hausfather.

Climatrend’s Mission

Climatrends conducts climate scenario analyses, analyzing climate risks and opportunities for organizations and communities around the world. Scenario analysis is an essential tool for understanding the implications of climate change on business. Conducting a climate scenario analysis is a critical step to TCFD reporting. With deep expertise in climate, weather, and corporate sustainability, we help build a comprehensive climate scenario analysis uniquely tailored to your business. Learn more about climate scenario analysis. Learn more about our hosts. Music courtesy of Compozly.