WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) today released a new installment of Resources Radio: “Decarbonizing Global Industry, with Jeffrey Rissman.”
In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Jeffrey Rissman, the industry program director and head of modeling at Energy Innovation, a climate policy firm focused on accelerating decarbonization. Rissman discusses a journal article he coauthored with 29 other researchers, which assesses strategies for propelling decarbonization of industry. According to Rissman, the industrial sector is vast, diverse, and difficult to regulate—but deep decarbonization is nevertheless possible, if ambitious policies are implemented and transformative technologies are deployed.
Notable quotes from the podcast:
- Decarbonizing doesn’t have to be disruptive to industry: “You may think it would be very expensive to replace and upgrade all of that equipment right away. But remember that machinery doesn't last forever. Machines grow old, they break down, or they just become obsolete, and just about all of it is going to be replaced, anyway, within the next 50 years. So, as long as we ensure that new machinery being purchased today and onward uses clean energy … then we can transition this huge installed base of equipment in accordance with its natural turnover cycles and avoid excess replacement cost.” (9:59)
- Policy shifts can help decarbonize industry: “To fully decarbonize industry requires smart, ambitious policy. That means that policymakers in a variety of countries need to recognize the importance of moving to clean energy and to enact policies to help accelerate that transition … I think that companies are going to find it to be an increasing liability, to be inefficient and highly polluting in the twenty-first century, as more and more attention is paid to the climate change crisis.” (11:22)
- Carbon pricing highlights the costs of carbon pollution: “Existing fossil fuel combustion benefits from not having to pay for all of the damage it's doing—and that's not just damages to climate. We have many thousands of Americans dying in the United States every year due to air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion. Those are costs that are borne by the people who get sick and who die, and not by the folks who are burning or producing the fuels that are causing these public health damages.” (28:39)
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