128 episodes

A bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental politics in America. Presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Political Climate goes beyond the echo chambers to bring you civil conversations, fierce debates and insider perspectives, with hosts and guests from across the political spectrum. Join Democrat and Republican energy experts Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton, along with Greentech Media's Julia Pyper, as we explore how energy and environment policies get made.

Political Climate Political Climate

    • News
    • 4.8 • 223 Ratings

A bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental politics in America. Presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Political Climate goes beyond the echo chambers to bring you civil conversations, fierce debates and insider perspectives, with hosts and guests from across the political spectrum. Join Democrat and Republican energy experts Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton, along with Greentech Media's Julia Pyper, as we explore how energy and environment policies get made.

    10 Climate Stats You Need for Holiday Season

    10 Climate Stats You Need for Holiday Season

    As we enter the holiday season, our hosts run through 10 powerful stats that will help you navigate the inevitable question from a curious family member: “So, what’s going on with the climate?” 

    As a listener of this podcast, you are probably no stranger to these conversations with loved ones. But this year in particular — amid more in-person visits and a slew of recent headlines on climate policy, climate impacts, and global climate summits — there is a lot of catching up to do. These stats will equip you with the content you need to deliver a brief climate keynote address over the third helping of potatoes. 

    To kick things off, we catch up on the big ticket items in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and what’s next for the Build Back Better Act, which together could be the most significant pieces of American climate legislation passed in our lifetimes. (And that’s a good thing, should your aunt ask).

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:White House: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Fact SheetPrinceton University's REPEAT ProjectCanary Media: The vast majority of Americans love solar and wind powerE2: Clean Jobs AmericaIHS: Corporate US renewable procurement outlookIEA: COP26 climate pledges could help limit global warming to 1.8 °CBBC: How China shapes the world's coalInside EVs: Global Plug-In Car Sales Doubled To A New Record, September 2021California Solar and Storage Association: An S.O.S. In The Sand – Governor: More Solar, Not OilArs Technica: Natural gas customers in Texas get stuck with $3.4 billion cold-snap surcharge

    • 39 min
    COP26: Mobilizing Trillions in Climate Finance

    COP26: Mobilizing Trillions in Climate Finance

    Climate finance has been center stage at COP26. Meeting the globe’s climate goals will require mobilizing trillions of public and private dollars. So what exactly does that look like?

    During the first week of the UN climate summit, 450 financial institutions with $130 trillion in assets under management pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The announcement from the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) led by UN Special Envoy Mark Carney represents a massive commitment to shift funds out of fossil fuels and into creating sustainable economies.

    But will the promise live up to the hype? We break down the significance of this and other major finance pledges made at COP26 with Justin Guay, director for global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project.

    Plus, a commitment from wealthy countries to spend $100 billion per year on helping poorer nations mitigate and adapt to climate change remains a sticking point in the global climate negotiations. But even if rich nations deliver more money in climate aid, many countries will see little benefit because they face enormous hurdles accessing the funds available.

    In the second half of this episode we speak to Benjamin Bartle, project director with RMI's Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN) about what it really takes to put these climate dollars to work.

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Bloomberg: Carney Unveils $130 Trillion in Climate Finance CommitmentsScientific American: U.S. Agrees to End Fossil Fuel Financing AbroadAP: UK sets net-zero plan for its financial sectorRMI: The Crisis of Climate Finance: “Access Means Survival"

    • 47 min
    Is American Offshore Wind Becoming a Reality?

    Is American Offshore Wind Becoming a Reality?

    Where are the offshore wind projects in America? While turbines have become a familiar sight in states across the country, offshore wind is virtually non-existent. 

    Even with thousands of miles of coastline, the U.S. only has around 40 MW of offshore wind production, most of it from a single wind farm. This pales in comparison to other parts of the world, particularly Europe, which has more than 25 GW of offshore wind capacity from more than 100 offshore wind farms.

    But the market landscape for offshore wind in the U.S. is poised to change dramatically, with industry and policy efforts aligning to finally access this untapped clean energy resource.

    In this episode, we discuss this new frontier in the U.S. energy transition with Heather Zichal, Chief Executive Officer, of the American Clean Power Association.

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Heather Zichal: Testimony House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Energy Subcommittee “Offshore Wind, Onshore Benefits: Growing the Domestic Wind Energy Industry”USC Schwarzenegger Institute: California’s Offshore Wind Electricity OpportunityCanary: Could the US lead​​ the world in floating offshore wind? Canary: California offshore wind could save billions and help prevent blackouts. What’s holding it back?Axios: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

    • 40 min
    David Roberts, Part 2: Winning Political Messages

    David Roberts, Part 2: Winning Political Messages

    Policy debates on Capitol Hill today fit into a bigger political picture. In Part 2 of this conversation with David Roberts, hosts Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut, and Shane Skelton talk about political sentiments, campaign messaging, and things Democrats don’t want to hear — as well as asymmetry in the media landscape and its impact on electoral politics today.

    Plus, David shares what he’s genuinely excited about when it comes to clean energy technology and how Illinois recently passed a big, bold climate bill that offers a new model for the nation. David Roberts is the founder and writer of the newsletter Volts, host of the podcast by the same name, and Editor-At-Large at Canary Media. 

    Check out Part 1 of this conversation on last week's episode. Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Canary: The unstoppably good news about clean energyCanary: Illinois’ new climate bill is ambitious, justice-focused and a model for the nationNYT: David Shor Is Telling Democrats What They Don’t Want to Hear

    • 40 min
    David Roberts, Part 1: Glimmers of Climate Optimism

    David Roberts, Part 1: Glimmers of Climate Optimism

    David Roberts is worried. Democrats have control of the House, Senate and the White House and an opportunity to pass bold climate policy and political reform — perhaps their last opportunity for a long time — but are stuck in political gridlock. The stakes are high, with procedural deadlines and the COP26 global climate summit looming. 

    On this episode, Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton speak to clean energy and politics reporter David Roberts about the state of play in Washington D.C. and why he’s both anxious and (surprisingly) optimistic. Roberts is the founder and writer of the newsletter Volts, host of the podcast by the same name, and Editor-At-Large at Canary Media. 

    Part 2 of this conversation will air on the podcast feed next week! Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:Politico: Dem tension keeps spiking ahead of make-or-break 3 weeksCanary: What’s in the latest version of House Dems’ proposed clean energy legislation?Axios: Pondering Biden's Plan(et) BVolts: The most important job ahead for DemocratsMSNBC: All In with Chris Hayes, 10/12/21

    • 46 min
    Big Climate Policies Hang in Limbo

    Big Climate Policies Hang in Limbo

    With several major deadlines looming, U.S. lawmakers remain divided on how to move forward with the bipartisan infrastructure bill and Democrats’ larger $3.5 billion spending package — both of which contain critical funding and programs to fight climate change and promote clean energy. 

    At the same time, Congress must immediately pass a spending package to avoid a government shutdown. Also (because there isn't enough going on) lawmakers must act quickly to raise the debt limit, with the nation’s borrowing authority set to expire on October 18, which would be devastating for the U.S. economy.

    On this episode of Political Climate, hosts Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton discuss the rifts on Capitol Hill and what to expect from Congress in the coming days. Plus, they talk through some of the most significant commitments made by governments and the private sector during Climate Week NYC — a stepping stone to the UN’s COP26 climate summit.

    Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate.

    Recommended reading:The Guardian: Fate of Biden’s economic agenda at stake as House faces crucial voteCNN: Why we're willing to put our votes on the line for the Build Back Better ActNYT: Biden Administration Makes First Major Move to Regulate Greenhouse GasesCanary Media: Climate Week NYC 2021

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
223 Ratings

223 Ratings

fishyrainn ,

Absolutely amazing

The perfect podcast for new learners in the sector as well as more experienced people as well in order to grasp the current conversations in the industry!

baby muffin ,

Don’t go!!

I’ve been listening since the beginning and always come away inspired and informed. Thank you. I hope you find your way back to a place where you can keep this going!

Avid Listener 888888888 ,

Just the podcast I was looking for

So great to find a podcast that covers recent news and how it impacts past, current and proposed climate legislation. I look forward to every new episode. One tweak that would be worth making is for better prepared hard hitting questions for their guests. The hosts more often than not let guests talk about whatever they want, rather than steering in the conversation in the most valuable direction.

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