The Interchange
The Interchange
Oct 22, 2020
The Carbon Hidden in Our Buildings
39 min

When we talk about climate change on this show, and what causes it, we are usually talking about gases that come from vehicles or from the electricity sector. 

But what about the built environment? This week: we’re talking about the embedded emissions in our buildings.

There’s the natural gas that gets burned in them, and there’s all the electricity that it takes to power them. 

And then there’s another category – all the upfront energy that went into making the buildings in the first place. That’s called “embodied carbon” or “embedded carbon” or sometimes “upfront carbon.” 

In the next few crucial years when we can bend the arc of climate change, most of the emissions that come from buildings are going to come from the embodied carbon. So how we choose to build buildings really matters. 

Our senior editor Ingrid Lobet has a special interest in buildings and wrote recently about embodied carbon for Greentech Media. Read that article here.

Just before everything shut down with the pandemic several months ago, Ingrid was at a conference on this subject organized in part by Ed Mazria. Mazria has been at the forefront of a growing faction of builders, engineers and designers intent on remaking buildings into a climate solution. She spoke with him about the biggest opportunities in decarbonizing buildings.

The Interchange is supported by Schneider Electric, the leader of digital transformation in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric has designed and deployed more than 300 microgrids in North America, helping customers gain energy independence and control, while increasing resilience and reaching their clean energy goals.

We’re also sponsored by NEXTracker. NEXTracker has more than 30 gigawatts of resilient and intelligent solar tracking systems across six continents. Optimize your solar power plant.

The Energy Gang
The Energy Gang
Greentech Media
Automakers Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago
In the 1960s, scientists who worked for General Motors and Ford discovered that the exhaust from their cars was very likely changing the climate. They made presentations at conferences. They briefed senior executives. And then, they were publicly contradicted and their work was suppressed.  We’ll talk to Maxine Joselow, the journalist who reported the story for E&E News over many months. She talked with more than two dozen former GM and Ford employees, retired auto industry executives, academics, and environmentalists about what the companies knew about climate change five decades ago. It leaves the reader wondering: what if automakers had taken the problem more seriously a half-century ago? Then, plenty of conservative states are embracing renewables. But now 100% clean energy mandates are spreading to redder states. The latest is Arizona: a place where elected officials and a giant utility previously worked to stop the march of clean energy. We’ll look at the shift.  And last: can a Marshall Plan for fading coal communities rebuild America’s former industrial regions? * E&E News: GM, Ford Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago * Scientific American: A Woman Warned GM about Warming, But Men Didn’t Listen * Greentech Media: Arizona Regulators Pass Rule for 100% Clean Energy by 2050 * Smart Cities Dive: Mayors Unveil $60B Plan to Support Midwest Energy Transition * University of Pittsburgh: Marshall Plan for Middle America Roadmap The Energy Gang is brought to you by Wärtsilä Energy, leading the transition toward a 100% renewable energy future. Wärtsilä launched “The Path to 100%” to accelerate the transition to renewables. Become part of the discussion. The Energy Gang is brought to you by Honeywell, a leading supplier of IoT solutions to mission-critical industries around the world. Honeywell Smart Energy helps utilities transform their grid operations through advanced solutions and targeted services from edge to cloud. Learn more.
1 hr 6 min
Columbia Energy Exchange
Columbia Energy Exchange
“Future of Coal in India"
With a population of 1.4 billion people and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India is crucial to the future of global energy markets and climate change - and coal is fueling much of that economic growth in India. Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel and is responsible for more than 40 percent of energy-related global carbon emissions. Over the next five years, India’s coal demand is expected to grow more than that of any other country in the world. In short, there’s no pathway to global decarbonization that does not include meaningfully changing the trajectory of India’s current and projected coal use. In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Dr. Rahul Tongia, author of the new book “Future of Coal in India: Smooth Transition or Bumpy Road Ahead?” to help shed light on that very subject. Dr. Rahul Tongia is a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Social and Economic Progress in New Delhi, where he leads its Energy, Natural Resources, and Sustainability group. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was the founding Technical Advisor for the Government of India’s Smart Grid Task Force. He holds a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from Brown University. You can read Dr. Tongia's blog post about his book here.
46 min
Cleaning Up. Leadership in an age of climate change.
Cleaning Up. Leadership in an age of climate change.
Michael Liebreich
Ep20: Richenda Van Leeuwen 'A life of energy access and inclusion'
As a 10 year old girl, Richenda Van Leeuwen saw a solar panel at the Centre of Alternative Technology on a rainy day in Wales. This would serve as her first point of inspiration for the career ahead of her. Now, she is the Executive Director of Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. In the 20th episode of Cleaning Up, Michael and Richenda cover gender balance in the energy sector, the crucial role electricity access plays in providing healthcare in the Global South as well as ways to ensure that local economies are the beneficiaries of growth in emerging markets. Bio Richenda joined the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) as Executive Director after serving as Managing Director for Empowering Clean Economies at the Rocky Mountain Institute, and previously chairing the International Institutions at the Global LPG Partnership where she led work on clean cooking energy solutions in developing economies. She was also a member of the World Bank’s Energy Program’s (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group from 2016-2019. Prior to that, between 2010-2016 Richenda was Executive Director of Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation, working on development of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, and founding and leading a 2,300-member global off-grid renewable energy practitioner network. Richenda previously served for nearly five years as CEO of Trickle Up, a global microenterprise development organization and has worked in private equity and impact investing in renewable energy in emerging markets, as well as early in her career on humanitarian post conflict reconstruction in the Balkans. She is a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and an Emeritus founding U.S. Women “Clean Energy Ambassador” within the U.S. DOE Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative established within the Clean Energy Ministerial. For several years she served as a member of the Selection Committee for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Richenda earned her MBA and BSc (Hons) in Geography from Durham University, UK. Key links Official Bio: UNDP launches global call to action encouraging nature-based solutions for sustainable development (23rd Sep 2020) Centre for Alternative Technology How to power a resilient future across the Caribbean (9th Sep 2020) Powering Health across Africa through COVID-19 and a Changing Climate (7th May 2020) Op-Ed: DER solutions serve health facilities’ energy needs in SSA (12th May 2020) Renewable Energy Leader Dr. Kandeh Yumkella Joins Rocky Mountain Institute (11th of Feb 2020) About Cleaning Up Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Each episode covers the technical ground on some aspect of the low-carbon transition – but it also delves into the nature of leadership in the climate transition: whether to be optimistic or pessimistic; how to communicate in order to inspire change; personal credos; and so on. And it should be fun – most of the guests are Michael’s friends. Follow Cleaning Up on Twitter: []( Follow Cleaning Up on Linkedin: []( Follow Cleaning Up on Facebook: []( Links to other Podcast Platforms: [](
1 hr 6 min
Business Lab
Business Lab
MIT Technology Review Insights
Leveraging collective intelligence and AI to benefit society
A solar-powered autonomous drone scans for forest fires. A surgeon first operates on a digital heart before she picks up a scalpel. A global community bands together to print personal protection equipment to fight a pandemic. “The future is now,” says Frederic Vacher, head of innovation at Dassault Systèmes. And all of this is possible with cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and a virtual 3D design shop, or as Dassault calls it, the 3DEXPERIENCE innovation lab. This open innovation laboratory embraces the concept of the social enterprise and merges collective intelligence with a cross-collaborative approach by building what Vacher calls “communities of people—passionate and willing to work together to accomplish a common objective.” This podcast episode was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not produced by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.  “It’s not only software, it's not only cloud, but it’s also a community of people’s skills and services available for the marketplace,” Vacher says. “Now, because technologies are more accessible, newcomers can also disrupt, and this is where we want to focus with the lab.”   And for Dassault Systèmes, there’s unlimited real-world opportunities with the power of collective intelligence, especially when you are bringing together industry experts, health-care professionals, makers, and scientists to tackle covid-19. Vacher explains, “We created an open community, ‘Open Covid-19,’ to welcome any volunteer makers, engineers, and designers to help, because we saw at that time that many people were trying to do things but on their own, in their lab, in their country.” This wasted time and resources during a global crisis. And, Vacher continues, the urgency of working together to share information became obvious, “They were all facing the same issues, and by working together, we thought it could be an interesting way to accelerate, to transfer the know-how, and to avoid any mistakes.”  Business Lab is hosted by Laurel Ruma, director of Insights, the custom publishing division of MIT Technology Review. The show is a production of MIT Technology Review, with production help from Collective Next.  This episode of Business Lab is produced in association with Dassault Systèmes.  Show notes and links  How Effective is a Facemask? Here’s a Simulation of Your Unfettered Sneeze, by Josh Mings, SolidSmack, April 2, 2020  Open Covid-19 Community Lets Makers Contribute to Pandemic Relief, by Clare Scott, Dassault, The SIMULIA Blog, July 15, 2020 Dassault 3DEXPERIENCE platform Collective intelligence and collaboration around 3D printing: rising to the challenge of Covid-19, by Frederic Vacher, STAT, August 10, 2020
35 min
Reversing Climate Change
Reversing Climate Change
S2E40: Much talk of CO2, but what about methane?!—w/ Olya Irzak of Frost Methane
Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In fact, methane emissions are responsible for 16% of the warming we experience today. And because methane is more potent than CO2, we can make a big impact in a short period of time by addressing the concentrated, continuous methane seeps that exist around the world. Olya Irzak is the Founder and CEO of _Frost Methane_, a company working to combat climate change through the deployment of remote methane destruction devices. On this episode of the podcast, Olya joins Ross and Christophe to discuss why she chose to focus on methane emissions and explain how her team’s technology works to convert concentrated methane into CO2. Olya describes Frost Methane’s initial work with Arctic permafrost and introduces their new application of the technology in coal mines, sharing how the business generates revenue through carbon markets like California’s cap-and-trade market.  Listen in for Olya’s insight on the benefits of voluntary markets and learn her approach to prioritizing climate interventions to make the biggest impact. Connect with Nori _Purchase Nori Carbon Removals_ _Nori_ _Nori on Facebook_ _Nori on Twitter_ _Nori on Patreon_ Resources _Frost Methane_ _Frost Methane on LinkedIn_ _Olya on LinkedIn_ _ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit_ _Center for Negative Carbon Emissions_ _Google’s Climate Change Initiative_ _‘7,000 Underground Gas Bubbles Poised to Explode in Arctic’ in __The Siberian Times_ _Video of Exploding Under-Ice Methane Gas in Siberia_ _Laughlin Barker_ _Pleistocene Park_ _Pleistocene Park on Reversing Climate Change EP073_ _Dr. Leslie Field_ _Ice 911_ _ASU’s Arctic Ice Management Project_ _University of Beijing Research on Calving_ _Silver Lining_ _‘Sometimes Success Is Right Under Your Feet, As Tomato Grower Knows’ in __AP News_ _California’s Cap-and-Trade Program_ _Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation_ _Stripe Climate_ --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:
42 min
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