108 episodes

Zero is about the tactics and technologies taking us to a world of zero emissions. Each week Bloomberg’s award-winning reporter Akshat Rathi talks to the people tackling climate change – a venture capitalist hunting for the best cleantech investment, scientists starting companies, politicians who have successfully created climate laws, and CEOs who have completely transformed their businesses. The road to zero emissions has many paths and everyone’s got an opinion about the best route. Listen in.

Zero: The Climate Race Bloomberg

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 129 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Zero is about the tactics and technologies taking us to a world of zero emissions. Each week Bloomberg’s award-winning reporter Akshat Rathi talks to the people tackling climate change – a venture capitalist hunting for the best cleantech investment, scientists starting companies, politicians who have successfully created climate laws, and CEOs who have completely transformed their businesses. The road to zero emissions has many paths and everyone’s got an opinion about the best route. Listen in.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The 21st century will be shaped by fire

    The 21st century will be shaped by fire

    The 2016 fire that encircled the oil-producing town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate and left billions of dollars in damage in its wake. It was a disaster of record-breaking proportions, but also an inevitable byproduct of mankind’s obsession with burning fossil fuels. In this episode, John Vaillant, author of Fire Weather: A True Story from A Hotter World, explains how Canada’s fossil fuel industry came into being, why its existence made the Fort McMurray disaster more likely, and what our collective obsession with fire means for the future of our species.

    Explore further:


    Past episode about the COP28 text and the significance of agreeing to transition off fossil fuels
    Past episode with Bloomberg Opinion columnist David Fickling about whether the world has reached peak crude oil demand
    Past episode about how wildfire smoke and air pollution affect your health

    Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    Big Take Asia: Will the world's biggest nuclear power plant get a restart?

    Big Take Asia: Will the world's biggest nuclear power plant get a restart?

    All of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors were shut down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. As the country's energy needs soar, debate is heating up over whether to bring the world’s largest nuclear plant back online. In this bonus from The Big Take Asia, host K. Oanh Ha speaks to reporter Shoko Oda about her visit to the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant and the challenges to rebooting it.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 16 min
    Is Tesla on the road to irrelevance?

    Is Tesla on the road to irrelevance?

    Over the past 18 months, Tesla has missed its sales goals, seen its share price fall and waded through a series of dramatic decisions from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who cut car prices, fired much of the Supercharger team and announced nebulous plans to release a robotaxi. All of that looks like a pivot away from the original mission of making mass-market electric cars, but does Tesla going off course really matter to the EV transition? On this week’s Zero, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Liam Denning digs into Tesla’s strategy and what its evolution means for global adoption of electric cars. 

    Explore further:


    Past episode with Carnegie Mellon University professor Venkat Viswanathan on the futuristic promises of flying cars and emission-free aviation
    Past episode with Bloomberg NEF’s Colin McKerracher on why China has been successful in the EV transition where others haven’t been
    Past bonus episode with Bloomberg NEF’s Colin McKerracher on electrifying vans, trucks, and buses.

    Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Brendan Newnam, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 27 min
    Searching for climate solutions amid the AI hype

    Searching for climate solutions amid the AI hype

    Depending on who you ask, AI is either going to save the world or end it. The technology’s capacity for data-crunching and problem-saving can help predict weather events, making it easier to optimize power grids, prepare for natural disasters and maximize crop output. But artificial intelligence is also energy intensive – and easy to apply to ethically questionable ends. For all of these reasons, Priya Donti, professor of electrical engineering and AI at MIT, decided to found Climate Change AI, a group dedicated to applying AI to tackle climate problems.  

    Donti tells Akshat Rathi about some of the projects the group is funding around the world, and what the democratization of AI would look like in practice.  

    Explore further:


    Past episode about Microsoft’s rising AI emissions, and President Brad Smith’s claim that the AI will do more good than harm
    Past episode with African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina about climate innovation projects across the African continent
    Past episode with climate scientist and  champion for developing countries Saleemul Huq

    Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Anna Mazarakis and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    Microsoft wanted to be carbon negative. Then it went big on AI

    Microsoft wanted to be carbon negative. Then it went big on AI

    Microsoft’s recent push to capitalize on artificial intelligence has made it the world’s most valuable company. But according to new figures, that ambition is coming  at the expense of its climate goals. In 2020, the company pledged to be carbon-negative by the end of the decade. Instead, its emissions rose 30% between 2020 and 2023. Microsoft President Brad Smith says the company isn’t giving up on its green goals — and that the good AI can do for the world will outweigh its environmental impact. 

    Akshat tells Zero producer Mythili Rao about his conversation with Smith, and how other tech giants will be making similar calculations.

    Explore further:


    Past episode  with BNEF’s Jenny Chase on how to triple renewable energy by 2030
    Past episode with Notre Dame professor Emily Grubert about the possibility of carbon capture
    Past episode with Electra CEO Sandeep Nijhawan on making zero emissions steel

    Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim, Dina Bass, and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    Why the UK’s Conservatives have given up on climate

    Why the UK’s Conservatives have given up on climate

    After 14 years as a member of Parliament for the UK’s Conservative Party, Chris Skidmore quit the government in January — an act of protest over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to allow new oil and gas licenses. Skidmore says the party has lost its way when it comes to climate issues, costing the UK lives, jobs and opportunities for economic growth. In this episode, Skidmore also discusses the Net Zero Review he published while in office, and talks through climate solutions emerging outside of Westminster. 

    Explore further:


    Past episode with Chris Stark of the UK’s Climate Change Committee about whether the era of climate consensus is over 
    Past episode with Bryony Worthington, one of the authors of the UK’s Climate Change Act 
    Past episode with three US governors– Republican and Democrat– about how they  navigate partisan politics and the need for climate action. 

    Zero is a production of Bloomberg Green. Our producer is Mythili Rao. Special thanks this week to Kira Bindrim and Alicia Clanton. Thoughts or suggestions? Email us at zeropod@bloomberg.net. For more coverage of climate change and solutions, visit https://www.bloomberg.com/green.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
129 Ratings

129 Ratings

Daveed Sidhu ,

Zero: The Climate Race – A Compelling Journey Toward a Sustainable Future

"Zero: The Climate Race" is an outstanding podcast that brings the urgent and complex issue of climate change into sharp focus. Hosted by Akshat Rathi, this podcast offers an engaging and insightful exploration of the global race to achieve net-zero emissions. Through thoughtful interviews and expert analysis, "Zero: The Climate Race" provides listeners with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the fight against climate change.

PSB1947 ,

A Plus

Highly informative, in depth, every episode investigates a piece of the complex puzzle with high quality informants.

Reid, NYC ,

The EV episode was a wild ride

The title itself makes no sense, and they even admit as much during the podcast, if not in so many words. Is the future of cars electric? Yes. Is the future of transportation electric cars? No way, and they even say it at the end. A few points: The guest seems to think that air quality effects from ICE vehicles only comes from tailpipe emissions, when in fact, a very large contributor to air pollution is tire wear. This is an even worse problem with EVs because they are so much heavier than ICE cars. They also suggest that the increase in EV sales is down to customer demand, but then go on to state that policy is really moving the needle and more needs to be done. After blathering on about the ins and outs of the expanding EV market, the guest mentions at the very end that an all-of-the-above approach for future transport is what is really needed, to include the umbrella of active transport (walking, biking, etc.) and public transit. OK, that makes sense. So why does most of the transportation part of the IRA go towards electrifying passenger cars and the needed infrastructure to make that possible? They state explicitly that we are absolutely not on track for our carbon goals, yet decided to make a celebratory report of the rapidly expanding EV market. EVs will do one thing well: they will help rescue the car industry. They will NOT single-handedly help us meet climate goals. They will cause the same traffic as ICE cars, will likely cause worse wear on roads and infrastructure (which by itself is massively expensive and hugely carbon intensive), and will likely play a role in the actual safety crisis of traffic fatalities and injuries that is happening today (since they are heavier, they are generally deadlier). Also, the data cited from the Netherlands is pulled so far out of context as to be laughable. It makes sense such a large percentage of kms are traveled in car because that’s what cars are generally good for: going long distances. Most NL cities are designed in such a way that longer commutes are not necessary, so people travel less far to begin with, about 20% lower than the US, on average. And the modal share of ‘active’ transport over these shorter trips is astronomically higher than countries like the US. All that because of policy and planning. It’s not a “tricky” question like the guest suggests.

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