A carbonless future is feasible, but how fast?

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For many climate activists, the biggest obstacle to rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables is the global energy industry itself. The fact is, they claim, that energy companies are still making enormous amounts of money from fossil fuels, and refuse to kill their revenue source.

For the energy companies, the argument that they should simply stop mining and switch to renewables ignores one fundamental reality – the generating capacity from renewables is nowhere near the level required to meet consumption. Therefore, they say, their product will be needed for considerably longer than activists will allow.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals

One of the biggest sticking points in this debate is the fact that multinational corporations are not naturally inclined towards frankness and transparency in their communications. “Shareholder interest” compels them to address the issue only in very controlled ways.

Mark Gainsborough was, until recently, a 40 year veteran of Shell, the third largest energy company in the world. Tech For Impact approached him to find out whether, freed from the constraints of corporate managers, he could explain the challenges of energy transition from a non-aligned perspective, and provide some clues about the path towards a carbonless future, and our chances of meeting the Paris climate goals.

Watch the full interview with Gainsborough below:

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Teymoor Nabili

Publisher & CEO, Tech For Impact

Mark Gainsborough

Mark Gainsborough

Energy Transition thought leader

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