Today’s episode features Graciela Chichilnisky, CEO & Co-founder of Global Thermostat and Professor of Economics and Statistics at Columbia University.
Tune in to discover:
In 1997, US Congress passed the Byrd-Hagel law, which states that there shall be no limitations on greenhouse gas emissions in the US if those limitations would have a negative impact on the economy. This law was passed under the assumption that economic development and a cleaner environment are incompatible goals, and as a result, emissions have gone unchecked and led to dire consequences.
Global Thermostat is a company that’s turning this assumption on its head; the premise and mission of the company is that it is very much possible to lower emissions and remove CO2 from the atmosphere while at the same time spurring economic development and the creation of jobs. They have created and implemented technology that removes CO2 from the atmosphere in a profitable way by selling it to companies that use it for CO2-desalination processes and the creation of clean gasoline.
“CO2 is a very valuable gas that can replace petroleum to produce a lot of goods and services, including clean polymers, biofertilizers…beverages and food…and synthetic fuels,” Chichilnisky explains. She continues by describing how the technology works to remove factory-produced CO2 and CO2 directly from the atmosphere via direct air capture.
Currently, Global Thermostat is working with ExxonMobil and several other large companies to determine the best way of scaling up and removing 40 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, which is what the United Nations and US National Academy of Sciences computes is necessary in order to avoid devastating consequences of climate change.