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The Path to Net-Zero: Modular Nuke, Electric Vehicle, and Patient Capital in Green Tech

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Content provided by Policy Punchline and Princeton University. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Policy Punchline and Princeton University or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.
William Bohnett is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He served from 2009-2018 as a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Bill sits on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan NGO working on national competitiveness issues, and is a Board Member of American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation organization. Mr. Bohnett is the President of Whitecap Investments, a private investment firm, and special advisor to Baroda Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. This interview was conducted by Princeton freshman Sullivan Meyer and senior Tiger Gao. We start by briefly discussing Mr. Bohnett’s educational background at Princeton and career path. He cites the interdisciplinary education he received at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs as a huge aid to his career, especially as a corporate lawyer. Going off of that experience, we address the green financial market, especially the need to mobilize private capital to address the climate crisis. Bohnett does believe that the private sector requires some motivation to move capital from the public sector, but he views the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan as a strong start. Fascinatingly, he views the current bubble amassing around green technology as quite analogous to the “Dot Com” bubble of 1999. He notes, however, that the companies that weathered that bubble—as well as the companies that formed after it, like Google—went on to build the future. He encourages us to “have them courage to look through” the crash “that’s coming.” We then move on to address upcoming green technologies, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and small- and medium-sized nuclear reactors (SMRs). Bohnett sees both as integral to the climate future, so we discussed the intricacies of both technologies with him. For instance: How will the US adapt to its dependence on Chinese lithium mining? Will the public become more accepting of SMRs than large nuclear reactors? When asked about whether these technologies will dominate the transportation and energy industries of the future, Bohnett stresses an inclusive approach to the green transition. For instance, a green transportation industry will require both mass transit and EVs. Similarly, a future energy market will need SMRs, large reactors, and renewable energy. Above all, he expresses confidence that private capital and the market will properly assess what technologies are needed, and in what amount they are needed. This conversation is far-ranging, touching on many other aspects of Mr. Bohnett’s career. For instance, we discuss green technologies in relation to China, reflecting his position with the Council of Competitiveness. We address the importance of tree- and green space-restoration, based on his experience with American Forests. We explore the significance of public institutions in relation to the Smithsonian Institution. Finally, Mr. Bohnett offers his punchline: The climate crisis is a huge, incredibly nuanced challenge facing all aspects of modern life. Accordingly, no one technology, policy, or business is a silver bullet to address the climate crisis. There is no silver bullet, but there is an oncoming wave of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies coming from all corners of the global economy. We should have hope.
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173 episoade

Artwork
iconDistribuie
 
Manage episode 293218441 series 2691616
Content provided by Policy Punchline and Princeton University. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Policy Punchline and Princeton University or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://ro.player.fm/legal.
William Bohnett is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. He served from 2009-2018 as a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Bill sits on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan NGO working on national competitiveness issues, and is a Board Member of American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation organization. Mr. Bohnett is the President of Whitecap Investments, a private investment firm, and special advisor to Baroda Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. This interview was conducted by Princeton freshman Sullivan Meyer and senior Tiger Gao. We start by briefly discussing Mr. Bohnett’s educational background at Princeton and career path. He cites the interdisciplinary education he received at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs as a huge aid to his career, especially as a corporate lawyer. Going off of that experience, we address the green financial market, especially the need to mobilize private capital to address the climate crisis. Bohnett does believe that the private sector requires some motivation to move capital from the public sector, but he views the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan as a strong start. Fascinatingly, he views the current bubble amassing around green technology as quite analogous to the “Dot Com” bubble of 1999. He notes, however, that the companies that weathered that bubble—as well as the companies that formed after it, like Google—went on to build the future. He encourages us to “have them courage to look through” the crash “that’s coming.” We then move on to address upcoming green technologies, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and small- and medium-sized nuclear reactors (SMRs). Bohnett sees both as integral to the climate future, so we discussed the intricacies of both technologies with him. For instance: How will the US adapt to its dependence on Chinese lithium mining? Will the public become more accepting of SMRs than large nuclear reactors? When asked about whether these technologies will dominate the transportation and energy industries of the future, Bohnett stresses an inclusive approach to the green transition. For instance, a green transportation industry will require both mass transit and EVs. Similarly, a future energy market will need SMRs, large reactors, and renewable energy. Above all, he expresses confidence that private capital and the market will properly assess what technologies are needed, and in what amount they are needed. This conversation is far-ranging, touching on many other aspects of Mr. Bohnett’s career. For instance, we discuss green technologies in relation to China, reflecting his position with the Council of Competitiveness. We address the importance of tree- and green space-restoration, based on his experience with American Forests. We explore the significance of public institutions in relation to the Smithsonian Institution. Finally, Mr. Bohnett offers his punchline: The climate crisis is a huge, incredibly nuanced challenge facing all aspects of modern life. Accordingly, no one technology, policy, or business is a silver bullet to address the climate crisis. There is no silver bullet, but there is an oncoming wave of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies coming from all corners of the global economy. We should have hope.
  continue reading

173 episoade

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