Podcast    ·    Episode #22

A decade in energy

Guests

John Reilly, senior lecturer, MIT Sloan School and co-director, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

Lisa Jacobson, president, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (@ljacobsonenergy)

Ethan Zindler, head of the Americas team, BloombergNEF (@ethanall)


In This Episode


Transcript

The real profound aspect of the last decade, was what both of you have mentioned, is not so much how much energy we’ve adopted, but the dramatic drop in costs, and the fact that now we have a whole bunch of technologies at the doorstep. And so we are now positioned in a way that the next decade can really see that rapid expansion.

John Reilly: This is John Reilly. I’m a senior lecturer in Sloan and I’m co-director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Ethan Zindler: This is Ethan Zindler. I’m the head of the Americas team at BloombergNEF, a division of Bloomberg that does energy research.

Lisa Jacobson: This is Lisa Jacobson. I’m president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. The council is a broad-based energy trade association founded in 1992, working on energy and environmental policy.

JR: Ethan, Lisa, I’ve been looking through your 2020 Sustainable Energy report. It’s an impressive fact-filled volume looking back on the past decade. I really commend you for that and it looks a little bit forward. You completed this late last year, or maybe early this year, and a lot has happened since then. We have the elephant in the room, the global pandemic. I heard the Federal Reserve Board chairman say we might be looking at 20% unemployment and probably a recession staring us in the face. Is any of this still relevant or does it matter or maybe more realistically, has this changed the picture at all? I don’t know how much we can talk about that right away. You could maybe give your thoughts, but then maybe that’s a theme we want to return to as we go through some of the highlights of the report. Ethan, Lisa, do you have any thoughts?

EZ: First of all, the main caveat to everything here is we, like everybody else, are waiting to see how this goes. The first question is, is this going to be a shock to the economy that is substantial? Will it be short-term or is it going to be a shock to the economy that is substantial and long-term? It’s hard to argue there would be anything other than a substantial shock to the economy one way or the other but that is a big difference in terms of what implications it holds for energy transition and the kinds of trends that we’ve seen overall. All I can speak to the shortest term data that suggests that electricity demand not surprisingly is down. Although interestingly enough, it’s not particularly down in the residential use of electricity, as you might imagine, because more people are at home. That’s actually gone up a little bit. But it’s gone down in the commercial and industrial sectors. But electricity overall hasn’t really gone down that much at the top line compared to the use of transportation fuels, which has just completely fallen off a cliff and created all kinds of other problems. I think we should come back to this question, but I think it’s a really interesting one. Because if it is a prolonged downturn, my personal view is that a lot of the trends that we’ve seen over the last 10 years will actually go into fast forward. They’ll continue on in many ways but with a lot of interesting permutations.

JR: That’s an interesting way to look at it. Certainly, a big collapse of the economy is going to be a big drop in energy use and a big drop in emissions, but not the way we want to do it. The other question, with the oil prices so low, is that really going to discourage the transformation to some of the other sources of fuel? Lisa, do you have any thoughts?

LJ: First of all, thank you for the opportunity to do this podcast with you and have this important conversation. The Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, we’re actually, with the production in 2020, in our eighth year of this project. It aims to provide industry, policymakers, the media, a fact-based assessment of U.S. energy markets. We are very pleased to be able to commission this report and have BloombergNEF as the primary author. If you’d like to get a copy of the Factbook you can get it off of either the BCSE website or BloombergNEF. If you go to the BCSE website, it’s bcse.org/factbook.

I think big picture, in the short-term, I’ve not seen a conversation at any level of government that’s moving away from cleaner, more resilient energy resources. In some cases, people are saying, again, in the short run, some of the environmental goals or energy goals that were established at the state and local level in the last couple of years, if anything, they’re going to be easier to achieve. I don’t see anyone moving away from the core values and desires of having more modern, efficient, reliable, affordable, clean, resilient energy.

In thinking about what’s happening in the short-term, there was an analysis that was out yesterday showing that in a number of clean energy sectors, about 100,000 jobs were lost in March. There is a significant economic impact here, and as Ethan said, we won’t know, sitting here today, what the world will look like and what kind of an economy we’re going to be coming out of when we are able to restart the economy. There are some very significant economic impacts in the energy sector and in particular for employees in clean energy jobs. A lot of the conversation around our table is not so much retreating from clean energy because of the pandemic, but it’s how do we get back on the strong, beneficial economic footing that we were having where clean energy jobs were the growth sectors of the energy workforce and they were benefiting communities all over the country. If we are losing 100,000 jobs in a month from those industries, that’s very worrisome. Hopefully both the private sector working with governments as we reopen the economy can restore and go back to a growth footing there.

EZ: Just to add on one quick thing to that, just to build off Lisa’s point, but also to answer your original question, John, which is, look, we think about doing the math on buying an electric vehicle. Let’s be honest, no one’s buying any vehicles at all right now. It’s not really an issue of people running those numbers at the moment so much as it is them deeply concerned about whether or not they have the wherewithal to make any major capital purchases. I think we have to wait until we get past this first phase to start to think about that. Also, frankly, oil’s trading at $20 a barrel right now. Maybe when we get past this first phase, oil prices will come up a little bit more once there’s a bit more demand out there than we see at the moment.

JR: That’s good to get some of those thoughts out and let’s see how they go. Maybe the next thing is to just give the listeners a little bit of what you see as some of the highlights of the report. When I read it, the thing that stands out for me, as you say, the last decade was a decade of profound transformation. Maybe if you could hit some of those things that you think make it a decade of profound transformation, that would be helpful.

EZ: I’ll start and, Lisa, please just add on. To put it slightly in context, which is that the conventional wisdom about the power sector, in particular, was it’s a giant sector. It takes decades to change. It moves very slowly. What was remarkable about the last decade was just how much stuff did change in really a relatively short period of time.

Just taking a couple of quick examples. The first being, we got almost half of our power from coal, about 45%, from coal generation in 2010. That number was down to 23% as of 2019. This year it should be noted, even pre-COVID, that number was starting to come under 20%. The move away from coal was really dramatic. When you’re talking about a massive power system like the United States, second only to China, that kind of transformation is very large. On the flip side, of course, was the growth of natural gas, going from about a quarter of our generation to a bit under 40% of generation. Then renewables jumping from about 10% to about 18%. Basically, almost that entire eighth additional percent came from wind and solar.

That move, in terms of moving away from coal sources and towards renewables—and, by the way, nuclear stayed about the same at about 20% through the whole thing—has meant that the U.S. power sector has much lower emissions, about 25% lower CO2 emissions than it did 10 years ago. That’s the power sector. Worth noting. That’s not the transportation sector, where the level of transformation was, frankly much smaller. We definitely saw a very sharp rise in the number of electric vehicle sales in the last couple of years of the decade. Coming into this year, we’re pretty optimistic that that trend would continue. Of course, as you noted earlier, oil prices have dropped, the economics are changing, and so it could be more challenging going forward there.

The other piece which I always want to make sure we do mention is that energy efficiency played a really important role. The start of the decade we were coming out of what was then called the Great Recession, but maybe we’ll rename that in the wake of what’s happening now. The economy basically grew every year of the decade—not spectacularly, it should be noted 2%-3% every year or a little less some years—but our use of energy overall, effectively, did not grow at a particularly high rate. That is not inconsistent with things that we’ve seen in other OECD countries, wealthy countries that have heavy service sectors. Nonetheless, the growing efficiency of the U.S. economy was definitely one of the things that definitely helped.

Then the last point I just want to make is that a lot of technology has enabled people to be much more conscious about how they use energy. Of course, this is part of the energy efficiency story, but it’s also part of the move towards more distributed energy in terms of consumers. Either having solar rooftop systems if they want, and in some very small number of cases, batteries. In many cases, if you want to have a smart thermostat where you understand your energy usage in a much greater degree in-depth, you can do that as well. We do find consumers, there’s been a lot of uptake on that. Now, the reality of it is only certain consumers are going to have or be deeply interested in this. But that’s still, we have what we call in the report, the empowered consumer who has much more ability to understand how they consume energy, but also make a lot more different choices about the types of places where they get power from and what systems that they want to use. Those are some basic ones. I’m sure I’ve missed a few basic points that Lisa may want to add on.

JR: I know when we talked a little bit about this before, Lisa, you thought the empowered consumer and consumption side was important. Thinking about security and jobs, can you highlight some of those aspects of this last decade of profound changes?

LJ: Building on what Ethan was discussing, when you look at things like corporate engagement in the energy sector, one key metric is corporate procurement of renewable energy. When you look at the Factbook, you’ll see it’s not just a renewable energy story alone. It’s energy efficiency, it’s greening fleets, it’s climate change and resilience objectives. Just looking for a moment at corporate procurement, we’ve seen just a sea change here in the last decade. We pretty much had zero corporate PPAs for renewable energy at the beginning of the decade. Then we ended up at the end of 2019 with over 18 gigawatts signed.

Then when you look and compare that to renewable energy build across the country, you see a very strong demand and forward-looking market signal for renewable energy. That’s happening in and of itself, which is quite remarkable. I think what it also goes back to is the economics of renewable energy that have changed dramatically in the last decade. We often focus on wind and solar and their very dramatic cost reductions and innovations in those technologies. But if you look across the renewables fleet—hydropower, biomass, geothermal—there’s just tremendous opportunity for very flexible and reliable dispatchable renewable energy resources. Now we’re seeing activity in the corporate sector as it relates to heating and thermal renewables, so renewable natural gas, hydrogen. There’s a lot of opportunity for corporates to get involved and drive demand in renewable energy. It’s not just in the power sector anymore.

JR: I want to maybe push back a little bit or ask a little bit of a question. You talk about it being a decade of profound change. But you also point out that, in a lot of these things, renewable energy and the switch from [coal to gas], should have reduced our CO2 emissions. But I think you point out the drop was 4% over the decade. If we need to get to 80% below by 2050, or maybe even lower, then I was thinking of the analogy, if we’re running a relay race, this was the first runner. They didn’t drop, they didn’t run their 20%. They dropped the baton 16% short. The next runner is going to have to go back and pick it up and run the next decade in order to catch up. It was profound, but was it profound enough?

LJ: I don’t think anyone would argue that it was profound enough. No. We’re clearly off the mark. But there are lessons to be learned and the model and the interplay between markets, policy, and technology and how that unfolded over the last decade can kickstart a lot more dramatic reductions in the future. I don’t think we can get away from the fact that, in the United States at least, transportation needs to be addressed much more significantly. We focused a lot on the power sector and we continue to make progress there. Not enough, but we are making significant progress and it’s because of a combination of the policy dynamic, the private sector, all of that feeding into business innovation. We’ve seen change. It has to be affordable and it has to be communicated to the public. In the power sector, that mix has occurred. I’m not sure it’s occurred in the other sectors where we need to make more progress, like transportation, but also commercial and industrial.

I think, yes, we’ve accomplished a significant amount in an industry that people said couldn’t change in a hundred years. We’ve made change. We can learn and look at why we’ve made changes. Now we just need to dramatically ramp that up and look at other sectors of the economy and see how we can take those lessons and apply them there.

EZ: Just to add on one or two quick things, which is just that CO2 emissions, to be clear, the the goal of what the Paris Agreement was to cut 26%-28% by 2025. We have cut 12% from 2005 levels. We’re definitely not there yet and it’s not looking likely that we’re going to get there in the next five years. I don’t mean to gloss this over, but it’s a little bit deeper in terms of that context where we’re way below where we were again back in 2005. The other thing is the power sector as Lisa notes. It cut its CO2 emissions by a quarter in a decade. That’s pretty good. Your point still stands, which is the transportation sector CO2 emissions have been rising for the last several years. In my view, that sector will not decarbonize itself based purely on economics. There will need to be strong policies put in place to make that happen and bend that curve. Electric vehicles are great and the economics are getting better, but we don’t see that taking over the U.S. fleet of vehicles any time before well into the next decade. You do need strong corporate average fuel economy standards to drive that. The Trump administration has been very active about weakening those since the start of their administration.

JR: I guess gas fracking has been the big story. We have seen that in other countries, where discoveries of cheap, natural gas have quickly reformed the coal sector, but then after that, it’s a one-off event and things kind of go away. The 12% since 2005 was helped a lot by a massive recession. Then you’re coming out of that, as you point out, energy demand barely grew at all. But given that we’ve historically had energy efficiency improvement in the economy of 1.5%-2% going back decades, given that growth was only 2%, that translates into no growth in energy use. That’s more of the normal business-as-usual than a dramatic difference from the past, at least as I look at it.

Maybe the real profound aspect of the last decade was, I think, what both of you have mentioned, is not so much how much energy we’ve adopted, but the dramatic drop in costs, and the fact that now we have a whole bunch of technologies at the doorstep. Maybe we are now positioned in a way that the next decade can really see that rapid expansion. We’ve looked back in some of our work and actually looked statistically at when technologies take off, nuclear power. Once they’re at 1.5% or 2%, then we have seen them grow to be 25% of growth in a decade. Maybe that’s where we are with renewables. I don’t know. Do you have a sense of that?

EZ: I would just say that the first half of the decade, renewables growth was characterized primarily, frankly, by subsidies. Then the last maybe half, even in some markets, in the last even year or two, has been characterized by cost competitiveness for renewables. The great news is yes, as we came to the end of that decade, the growth in renewables has been driven by cost. You’re right, that probably positions things well going into the next decade. The real battle that’s shaping up, as you put your finger on it, is between the build of new gas versus new renewables going forward. There’s no coal being built and there’s a lot of coal it’s going to get retired. We’re seeing that already. The question is, how quickly can we retire the rest of the coal that we’ve got? Then what replaces it? I think that the economic competitiveness between gas and renewables is going to be one of the interesting stories going forward. Our view is that renewables can undercut gas in a number of markets in the U.S., not certainly everywhere. If you’re sitting right on top of a major production center, gas is almost free these days in some parts of the U.S. and so it’s pretty tough to compete there. But other places, we think renewables actually does the trick.

JR: The good thing is, hopefully people realize we’re already seeing some of these benefits. I was reading a bit on acid rain in the Northeast and it’s dropped dramatically as a result of the switch from [coal to gas]. You’re actually seeing evidence of faster tree growth and more lush forest as a result. We are reaping some of the benefits. Hopefully, if we can see those more substantially, it will put some extra oomph behind some of this transition. The other sectors that are really difficult, they aren’t that big in the United States, but things like petrochemicals, iron, and steel. Some of those things where some of the options are the most difficult. Did you look at that in your report and do you have a perspective on that?

EZ: The short answer is, we didn’t look at it too much in this report, but you’re right that those are the areas where, in particular, we think efficiency has to be more of an emphasis going forward in terms of trying to reduce the intensity of their energy usage. Then there’s also the potential that we at BloombergNEF have looked at a fair amount, but isn’t in the report too much but just a little bit, is thinking a little bit about a hydrogen economy. Which is a long way out and a long way from being cost-competitive at this moment but has the potential to be used in more industrial processes in a way that can be lower, much lower emission. The question really then is, can you find ways to create hydrogen that is cleaner and still cost-competitive?

One of the things that is a cause for optimism is that if we get renewable energy generation costs down sufficiently, particularly in parts of the country like the Southwest or the windy parts of the Midwest, could you use very low-cost renewable energy to power hydrolyzers to create hydrogen to then run some of these industrial processes? Possibly. Now do all of these things take place at the same time in the same place? No. There’s a lot of challenges around infrastructure to be addressed. The industrial sector is one of the ones that’s definitely hardest to identify what the answer is to. For transportation it’s a little simpler, which is if we just continue to push the auto companies to make more efficient vehicles, they will. They’ve shown that they can in the past. It’s harder in some of these other sectors.

JR: Lisa, you’re representing the corporate sustainability and business council thing. We work with a lot of industries in our program and it does seem like industry really has embraced this idea that we need to move further ahead towards sustainable energy. Can you talk a little about what is the business case for that? Is it their customers’ demands? Is it from the investment side of the equation? Is it just cheaper? What are some of the limits of how far that can go, do you think, without the policy? Do we need policy supported or can business take us without any policy?

LJ: No, I think it’s definitely a mix of both. There’s a lot of different examples I can give. Just big picture, if you went back a decade, the conversation around ESG, environmental social governance conferences would be, or a climate change conference with business, you’d see the slide that says, “Why am I doing this?” One of the main things with brand/employee retention, maybe you’d see something on the third or fourth bullet on investor interest. You really wouldn’t see economics at all. They would say, “But if we want to go forward with a more ambitious plan, it needs to pencil out because otherwise we won’t get approval.“ But they didn’t have the data or they didn’t have the dynamics that would underpin that.

Now, I think that slide would be completely flipped around right now at that same conference if you had it in 2020. The number one thing would be economics and investor interest and then it would be side benefits, like employee retention or a brand. The world has changed for many companies when it comes to the realities of thinking about energy efficiency and clean energy options and being able to execute on it in a much more significant way. Economics, at the core, is the reason why companies will do more than just add on activities. It really is mainstreaming into corporate governance.

JR: We’ve been a little bit involved in working with some of the financial institutions and central banks recently in these moves to have more climate-related risk disclosure, both on the transition risk side investment in fossil energy, as well as on the physical risks. Are companies actually prepared for climate change? That’s probably a little bit outside the scope of your report on that side, but do you see this investment pressure and other pressures as being a significant additional push on what companies are going to do?

LJ: Yes, definitely. Again, if you went back a decade ago, there would be conversations about, “We received a questionnaire from a stakeholder group asking about climate change. Where do we put this?” Now it is completely integrated into investor relations. Climate disclosure, not just on emissions reductions but also in terms of resilience and risk management, are a big part of and fairly well understood, especially in the Fortune 500.

JR: Back to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re doing this, of course, online, or virtually. None of us drove anywhere this morning to get to our cell phones or get to our offices. Do you think there’s going to be a different way of looking at telecommuting after this? Is it going to be seen as more viable and maybe that’s one of the ways we reduce transportation emissions? Or do you think maybe the last one will be, “Gee whiz, we really need to see each other in the office more in order to make things work?” At this point, this probably isn’t research we’ve done, but maybe just our personal experience over the past month or so. Any thoughts?

EZ: I’ll venture into the land of pure speculation here. I feel like there’s been a lot of talk about reopening the economy. I don’t think there’s going to be a moment where suddenly we flip the switch and things look like they did back on, say, February 1st. In fact, I think it’ll take maybe years before we get back to where we were on February 1st, in terms of the way that people comport themselves and go to work and crowd and jam onto trains and all that stuff. It’s hard for me to see how that happens anytime soon.

It’s worth remembering that the way we lived our lives was we placed big strains on the energy system by insisting on all going to work at the same time, all coming home at the same time, using a lot of gasoline, using a lot of other energy on public transportation. I think, just generally speaking, energy usage, which is very spiky as a result of those patterns, which jumps in the morning, jumps in the evening, it’s going to get a bit smoother. I have trouble seeing my employer sending us all back to the office at the same time. But I could see a scenario where half of us go back and then we switched 50% on for a while and to encourage social distancing and spacing. I think you’re right that it’s going to change energy consumption patterns in pretty profound ways. Again, just pure speculation, I think will be potentially quite long-lasting in many ways. Some people may permanently work from home or we’ll have, again, a rotating system but either way, it’ll be less. It won’t be what we had before. Lisa, if you want to engage in the world of speculation too, please jump in.

LJ: I’ll just say one thing. I remember in the first week of the national shutdown, seeing images of eight o’clock in the morning LA, eight o’clock in the morning DMV, the DC area where we live. I’m sure if we would have seen an image of traffic around the New York City metropolitan area, there were no cars. You almost could have had a roller blader going down the highway. I don’t think anyone wants to return to what the traditional day’s traffic looked like in any major city in the United States and probably globally. I think there’s an opportunity here, and actually, this is again in the world of speculation, we’ve been talking about transportation, which in the United States is really passenger cars. A big part of that conversation. We have a real opportunity here.

Though I will say I was on an interesting call yesterday. Someone made the point, and they’re not a behavioral economist, but humans have short memory spans. They could just wake up and go back to everything as it was. I agree with Ethan, I don’t think it’s going to happen immediately, but we could wake up two or three years from now and everyone loves their car, “car culture USA” back. We do need to have some backstops here in the transition. Again, my point is we have an opportunity. It’s a reset moment and it’s really going to require actually the business community stepping up and making sure that we can lock in the sustainability gains that we want to see over the next 20 years in a moment like this. Because there everyone always says, we need a crisis. Well, we have a crisis. It’s a time to make some assessments and map out the world we want to be in. Not just go back to the things that we were challenged with before.

JR: I put you on the spot in a number of places, making you speculate about what the impact of the COVID-19 was going to be and a variety of things which are beyond anyone’s ability to guess. Your report was mainly focused on facts and trends in the past. You talked a little bit about what it might mean for the next decade. I’m working with folks and thinking about climate policy for the next decade. There’s a big belief now that the U.S. probably has get to 45% below 2005 by the year 2030. That’s the goals people are talking about between 40%-50% reduction. Is that feasible?

LJ: I think anything is feasible. We don’t know what is possible but we have this unique moment in time. One of the lessons that we’ve uncovered from the Factbook is that the investments made in 2009 and 2010 in the United States paid significant dividends in terms of cost reductions and the transformation we’ve been discussing. We have that moment again and we have it globally and we have it probably on steroids. If you look around the world at the stimulus packages and the amounts of money that governments are considering spending, we have a real opportunity here. That is a lesson we learned that making those strategic investments paid off and caused significant changes. Now, we’re going to make another set of significant investments, probably in infrastructure and in energy and in other parts of our economy. Let’s make sure we’re doing it in a climate-smart way with the goals to reduce emissions and enhance our resilience in mind.

EZ: I would just add to that, I would agree with Lisa, that the stimulus bill of 2009, I would argue is the most important piece of energy legislation maybe ever passed in terms of transformation. That obviously it had a lot of money for a lot of things in there, but there was about $90 billion directed for clean energy initiatives. Look, people are focused on certain things like Solyndra, like the black eye, but we wouldn’t have Tesla today probably if there had not been money that went out under that program and a lot of other scale up that we saw in other technologies as well. That was a moment that was taken advantage of to make some important long-term investments. I hope we don’t waste this moment. I have to say, I’m hopeful that we get a stimulus bill that is focused on infrastructure and is inclusive of cleaner and greener infrastructure. But I am concerned by what I’m seeing so far. We haven’t seen anything start to move in that direction yet. As Lisa points out, other countries around the world are doing this. The Europeans are going to use this as a chance to double down on their investment in these technologies. If you think about it from the U.S. competitiveness perspective, it could be a major opportunity lost if we do not invest here.

JR: I was thinking back to my earlier metaphor of the relay race. If this was the relay race and the U.S. team did last decade, were we the winner of that decade or are we behind Germany, France, maybe even China, in terms of our push to clean energy? Do you have a perspective on that? Did we come in first or fourth?

EZ: In terms of raw production of clean energy goods and services, China is by far the biggest. In terms of the volumes of capacity of renewable installations, China is also by far the biggest. Has the U.S. developed important intellectual property in the last decade that positions us well? Yes, I think that’s right. But this is part of a larger question about whether or not the U.S. can and should be a manufacturing hub versus China. Frankly, all of those questions are going to have to be somewhat reconsidered in the wake of COVID now, which is how much globalization do we want in our economy these days? Those questions are definitely being reconsidered in light of everything that’s happened.

JR: I certainly appreciate your upbeat look for the future. That’s good news for all of us that corporate America is pushing ahead on this and we see lots of technological opportunities. It’s a shame that our policy environment has lagged, at least. Of course, we have many states that are taking very aggressive actions and pushing the ball forward. Maybe when those prove out to be demonstrations of how wonderful a sustainable energy economy can be, maybe other folks will pick it up as well. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you this morning. Any other final comments you want to make?

LJ: The only thing I would add to this conversation, what’s different from 10 years ago? The scientific evidence was there but not as well-communicated and perhaps as thorough. We had a pivot moment a couple of years ago when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came out with, yet again, an assessment report with some very stark findings about the impacts of climate change around the globe. But it was a different moment. I think the corporate community, as well as policymakers, especially in the United States, then we go to local as well as state and many federal policymakers, took heed to it. We didn’t have that clarion call, an urgent call to action with some very clear and very striking long-term goals like we did in the last couple of years. We were talking about an incremental world, incremental change. Let’s get to 20%, 10% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As you pointed out, we’re looking at least 80% reductions by 2050. That’s because of the scientific community clearly articulating, “That is the goalpost the policymakers and society needs to look to.” We didn’t have that scenario put in front of us in 2009 in a mainstream way. I think that is a really important driver for why we might see much better performance in the next decade in terms of reducing emissions.

EZ: Lisa makes a great point, which is we’re more informed now. I wouldn’t add much other than that I do think the one thing about COVID and where we are now is, I don’t know who said it, but we shouldn’t let a good crisis go to waste. This is really an opportunity for us to rethink a lot of things about our energy usage and I hope we do.

JR: Thanks both of you. Lisa, your last comments on the science of climate change strikes close to home for me. I spent my 40-year career working on it. If we’ve finally got the message across, maybe I can retire with some ease of mind.

LJ: I hear you. Our members hear you. But we need to do more. It’s a moment to acknowledge but not a moment to slow down, that’s for sure. Thanks for that, because without the scientific underpinning, we don’t know what pathways we need to follow.

JR: Ethan, thank you. Lisa, thank you. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation and thanks everyone for listening.


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