79 episodes

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast by Resources for the Future. Each week we talk to leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more, making the latest research accessible to everyone.

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    • Government

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast by Resources for the Future. Each week we talk to leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more, making the latest research accessible to everyone.

    Adding Subtraction to the Climate Toolkit: Discussing Carbon Dioxide Removal with Wil Burns

    Adding Subtraction to the Climate Toolkit: Discussing Carbon Dioxide Removal with Wil Burns

    In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Wil Burns, co-director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University. Raimi and Burns discuss the approaches and technologies that might be helpful in removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, what governments and companies are doing to encourage the deployment of these options, and some of the risks and challenges that each approach brings.

    References and recommendations:

    "Dam Breaches in Michigan Raise Questions for Dam Maintenance Across the Nation," a Q&A with RFF's Margaret Walls; https://www.resourcesmag.org/common-resources/dam-breaches-michigan-raise-questions-dam-maintenance-across-nation/

    • 31 min
    Decarbonizing Global Industry, with Jeffrey Rissman

    Decarbonizing Global Industry, with Jeffrey Rissman

    This week, host Kristin Hayes talks with Jeffrey Rissman, the industry program director and head of modeling at Energy Innovation, a research firm focused on accelerating clean energy. He leads modeling efforts for the firm’s energy policy solutions focus area, to determine the policies that most effectively help meet climate and energy goals. Rissman is the lead author on a new paper released recently in the journal "Applied Energy," which dives deep into the technologies and policies that might drive decarbonization across global industry. This sector is notoriously difficult to decarbonize, but it's critical to meeting long-term emissions reduction goals.

    References and recommendations:

    "Technologies and policies to decarbonize global industry: Review and assessment of mitigation drivers through 2070" by Jeffrey Rissman, Chris Bataille, Eric Masanet, Nate Aden, William R. Morrow III, Nan Zhou, Neal Elliott, Rebecca Dell, Niko Heeren, Brigitta Huckestein, Joe Cresko, Sabbie Miller, Joyashree Roy, Paul Fennel, Betty Cremmins, Thomas Koch Blank, David Hone, Ellen D. Williams, Stephane de la Rue du Can, Bill Sisson, Mike Williams, John Katzenberger, Dallas Burtraw, Girish Sethi, He Ping, David Danielson, Hongyou Lu, Tom Lorber, Jens Dinkel, and Jonas Helseth; https://www.rff.org/publications/journal-articles/technologies-and-policies-decarbonize-global-industry/

    Energy Policy Simulator; www.energypolicy.solutions

    "Sustainable Materials without the Hot Air" by Julian M. Allwood and Jonathan M. Cullen; https://www.ipgbook.com/sustainable-materials-without-the-hot-air-products-9781906860301.php

    • 35 min
    China's Emerging Policies for Emissions Reductions, with Dick Morgenstern

    China's Emerging Policies for Emissions Reductions, with Dick Morgenstern

    Along with several co-authors, Resources for the Future (RFF) Senior Fellow Dick Morgenstern has recently released an RFF working paper on China’s new emissions trading program: a “tradable performance standard,” which sets a ratio of emissions to output that individual firms have to meet. Host Daniel Raimi talks with Morgenstern in this episode about the goals of the trading program, how it's designed, some of its strengths and weaknesses, and how the policy fits into the framework of international negotiations on climate change. While the standard is not as efficient as more typical models, it stands to significantly reduce emissions once it expands beyond the power sector—without necessarily curbing China’s economic growth.

    References and recommendations:

    "China's Unconventional Nationwide CO2 Emissions Trading System: The Wide-Ranging Impacts of an Implicit Output Subsidy" by Lawrence H. Goulder, Xianling Long, Jieyi Lu, and Richard D. Morgenstern; https://www.rff.org/publications/working-papers/chinas-unconventional-nationwide-co2-emissions-trading-system/

    "The Wizard and the Prophet" by Charles C. Mann; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/220698/the-wizard-and-the-prophet-by-charles-c-mann/

    "Alaskan glaciers melting 100 times faster than previously thought" by Jenny Howard; https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/07/alaskan-glaciers-melting-faster-than-previously-thought/ (and other "National Geographic" glacier coverage)

    "The Big Thaw" by Daniel Glick; https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/big-thaw/ (and other "National Geographic" glacier coverage)

    • 28 min
    Reflecting on Solar Geoengineering, with David Keith

    Reflecting on Solar Geoengineering, with David Keith

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Harvard University Professor David Keith about solar geoengineering. Keith describes the variety of ways that solar geoengineering could work; some of its risks at local, regional, and global scales; recent small-scale experiments; and what might be needed to deploy a larger-scale research program. Raimi and Keith also discuss public policies related to potential deployment technologies, including the substantial issues surrounding governance and geopolitics.

    References and recommendations:

    "Inner Ranges" by Geoff Powter; https://rmbooks.com/book/inner-ranges/

    "Pilgrims of the Vertical" by Joseph E. Taylor III; https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674052871

    "Environmental Insights" podcast with Robert Stavins; https://scholar.harvard.edu/stavins/environmental-insights-podcast

    • 31 min
    Going Deep on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), with Julio Friedmann

    Going Deep on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), with Julio Friedmann

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks about carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) with Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Friedmann gives an overview of the status of CCUS deployment worldwide, describes the costs of CCUS relative to other approaches for reducing emissions, and notes some emerging federal policies that aim to increase deployment of CCUS in the United States.

    References and recommendations:

    "Capturing Investment: Policy Design to Finance CCUS Projects in the US Power Sector" by Julio Friedmann, Emeka Ochu, and Jeffrey D. Brown; https://energypolicy.columbia.edu/research/report/capturing-investment-policy-design-finance-ccus-projects-us-power-sector

    "To Tackle Climate Change, the (Industrial) Heat Is On" by Julio Friedmann; https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-21/amid-climate-change-the-heat-is-on-heavy-industry-to-decarbonize

    "Low-Carbon Heat Solutions for Heavy Industry: Sources, Options, and Costs Today" by Julio Friedmann, Zhiyuan Fan, and Ke Tang; https://energypolicy.columbia.edu/research/report/low-carbon-heat-solutions-heavy-industry-sources-options-and-costs-today

    "Engineers of Victory" by Paul Kennedy; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/91616/engineers-of-victory-by-paul-kennedy/

    "Innovation and Its Enemies" by Calestous Juma; https://global.oup.com/academic/product/innovation-and-its-enemies-9780190467036?cc=us&lang=en&

    "45Q&A" blog series about the 45Q tax credit for CCUS; https://www.resourcesmag.org/common-resources/45q-series-comments-45q-tax-credit-carbon-capture-utilization-and-storage-ccus/

    • 34 min
    Is the Trump Administration Ditching WOTUS?, with Ellen Gilinsky

    Is the Trump Administration Ditching WOTUS?, with Ellen Gilinsky

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Ellen Gilinsky about Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, which refers to the 2015 Clean Water Rule that defined the scope of federal water protection, particularly for streams and wetlands that share a hydrologic system with "navigable waters." Gilinsky was the associate deputy assistant administrator for water at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); she is an expert on all things WOTUS.

    Raimi and Gilinsky discuss why WOTUS is so important for federal regulation of surface waters; why the waters that fall under regulation are so tricky to define; and how the Trump administration has sought to change the definitions, with implications that reduce regulation.

    Just last week, EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers published their Navigable Waters Protection Rule to change the definition of WOTUS and "navigable waters," demarcating four categories for waters under jurisdiction. The new rule becomes effective on June 22 this year, although lawsuits already are challenging it.

    References and recommendations:

    "Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity" by Sandra Postel; https://islandpress.org/books/replenish

    "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567281/where-the-crawdads-sing-deluxe-edition-by-delia-owens/

    "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/323685/cadillac-desert-by-marc-reisner/

    • 34 min

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