A Roadmap for the Zero-Carbon Industrial Transition (Part 1 of 3)

Did you know that industrial activity around the world is responsible for one-third of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions? In the U.S. alone, direct emissions from the industrial sector make up 23 percent of our total emissions. The industrial sector is also essential for producing the tools and products we need for our daily lives – from food and beverages, textiles and paper, steel and concrete, and the technologies needed to tackle climate change, like wind turbines and batteries. Yet, despite its importance to our economy and its omnipresence in our lives, efforts to reduce industrial emissions are lagging when compared to other sectors. In this episode, host Sara Baldwin speaks with Jeffrey Rissman, the author of a new book, Zero-Carbon Industry: Transformative Technologies and Policies to Achieve Sustainable Prosperity, to explore the wide world of industry and the technologies, policies, and market mechanisms necessary to reduce the industrial sector’s emissions for a climate safe future. Join us for the first in a three-part series on the topic.

Guest Bio:

Jeffrey Rissman is the Senior Director of Industry at Energy Innovation, where he leads the company’s work on technologies and policies to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the industry sector. He is the author of Zero-Carbon Industry: Transformative Technologies and Policies to Achieve Sustainable Prosperity (2024) and coauthor of Designing Climate Solutions: A Policy Guide for Low-Carbon Energy (2018). In 2024, Jeffrey was appointed by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Department of Energy’s Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee.

Jeff is also the creator of the Energy Policy Simulator, an open-source computer model that quantifies the effects of various energy and environmental policies; versions of the simulator have been developed for an ever-growing list of countries and regions, in partnership with in-country government agencies or NGOs, accounting for more than 50 percent of the world’s emissions.

Previously, Jeff worked on policies supporting R&D for clean energy and efficiency technologies for the American Energy Innovation Council, where he led a survey of 17 R&D leaders investigating trends, opportunities, and challenges to unleashing private sector energy R&D.

Jeff holds an M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering and a Masters in City and Regional Planning, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a Research Fellow for the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, where he studied aircraft emissions for the Federal Aviation Administration. Jeff also holds a B.A. in International Relations with honors from Stanford University.

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