The Climate Conversations: How to Energize Our Future

Episode Summary

In our post-pandemic world, there is no more pressing issue than climate change. This fall, Disruptors, an RBC podcast, is exploring potential solutions to a warming planet—as well as some challenges in implementing them—in a multi-part series called The Climate Conversations. Co-hosts John Stackhouse and Trinh Theresa Do speak with a variety of innovators and market disruptors who are working to get Canada on a path to net-zero emissions. In this third installment of The Climate Conversations, we look at how we’ll fuel our future economy. We all need energy, of course, but traditional sources of fuel are big carbon emitters. Nobody knows that better than Mark Little, CEO of Suncor Energy. In the first part of the episode, we talk to Mark about his bold ambitions to turn Suncor—an oil-and-gas behemoth—into a net-zero emitter by 2050. We also speak with JP Gladu, a Suncor board member and Indigenous business leader, on the important role Canada’s First Nations will play in that energy evolution. Others have more revolutionary ideas for achieving net zero. In the second half of the episode, we speak with Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering, on his futuristic technology for capturing carbon dioxide straight out of the air. And we also hear from Merran Smith, a clean energy advocate, on how Canada can—and must—transition away from fossil fuels, and embrace renewables to meet its climate goals.

Episode Notes

To learn more about Suncor’s carbon-reduction efforts, including how it plans to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, read its 2021 Report on Sustainability here.

JP Gladu has taken his extensive experience in corporate Canada to build his own consultancy, Mokwateh. To learn more about what Mokwateh does, check out his website.

Direct air capture, the technology sold by Carbon Engineering, is best explained by CEO Steve Oldham in this videotaped presentation to the U.S. Senate in 2019. 

Clean Energy Canada, led by Merran Smith, is regularly undertaking research to better understand the energy landscape. To read more on those efforts, check out its website.

Finally, RBC Economics and Thought Leadership has recently published an in-depth report on the path to net-zero called “The $2 Trillion Transition: Canada’s Road to Net Zero.” 

The report explores the costs and benefits of Canada’s shift to a carbon-neutral economy—and how it can fuel a new generation of Canadian innovation, especially in the energy sector. To read it, visit RBC.com/netzero.

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