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ICFRC: Challenges to an Equitable Net Zero Carbon Transition

Listen to an audio podcast of this program.

This talk discusses the challenges to a zero carbon transition posed by the simultaneous crises of the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As the world emerges from the pandemic, disruptions in global supply chains and pent up demand have caused inflation not seen since the oil crisis of the late 70s. This in turn has lead to increased commodity prices from oil to food staples, as well as scarcity in the materials necessary for renewable technology deployment (chip shortages and rare earths). The ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine has further destabilized energy markets, supply chains and raw materials procurement. The geopolitical energy landscape has at once been transformed, with Europe redoubling efforts to wean itself from Russian energy through accelerated clean hydrogen R&D, as well as other clean energy targets. At the same time, the US has doubled down on shale oil production and LNG export, while it remains to be seen how we will respond through accelerated renewables R&D. What do all these changes portend for our efforts to address climate change? How does this affect the commitments made at COP(26) in Glasgow? How will this catalyze our energy transition? How will it undo progress?

Stratis Giannakouros is the Director of the UI Office of Sustainability. He comes to the UI from Arizona State University, where he served as project manager and program manager for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Prior to that, he was the assistant director at the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College and sustainability outreach coordinator at Colorado State University. Mr. Giannakouros has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Loras College and a master's degree in Environmental Politics and Policy from Colorado State University.

For more information on the Foreign Relations Council visit their website at www.icfrc.org.

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