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Climate Change is Shaping Our Most Important Decisions in the Energy Transition

1 minute read

The energy industry influences climate change, and climate change also influences the energy industry. Understanding the consequences of a warming world is essential for making the right decisions as trillions of dollars are invested in energy production around the world. While we work to mitigate climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, we also need to adapt to the changes that we cannot prevent.

On the Energy Gang today, Ed Crooks and Melissa Lott are joined by Dr Sarah Kapnick from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NOAA collects data from a fleet of satellites, buoys, weather stations and balloons, and uses the information to try to understand our changing world. Its data and modelling on global warming and its impacts is increasingly being used to inform decisions on renewable investment, emergency planning, technology and more. Melissa also works on these issues in her role as Director of Research at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

How do we use to collect climate data? What impacts of climate change have we seen already, and what can we expect to see in the future? How can we use the information we have to make the best decisions when it comes to curtailing carbon emissions?

Climate change was a significant factor in the huge wildfires that hit the US West Coast in recent years, because of two decades of abnormally low precipitation. Dr Kapnick explains how that should influence companies’ and regulators’ decisions about investment and risk management. Wind power generation in Europe was hit by unexpectedly low wind strength in 2021. Climate data and models can inform companies facing these kinds of problems, and should help them plan their investments and operations more effectively, so they can keep the lights on while holding costs down.

All this and more on a special climate-focused edition of the Energy Gang. As always, check out our Twitter to let us know your thoughts and any future topics you want us to discuss. We’re @TheEnergyGang. 


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