Transcript: Protecting Our Planet: The Role of Technology

Placeholder while article actions load

MR. DENNIS: Hello, and welcome to The Washington Post Live. I’m Brady Dennis, a national environmental and climate reporter here at the Post. Thanks for joining us today for two conversations about the role of technology in curbing the impacts of climate change.

My first guest today is the executive secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa. Secretary Espinosa, thank you for joining us today.

SEC. ESPINOSA: Hello, Dennis. It’s a pleasure to be with you today.

MR. DENNIS: Good to see you.

We saw there in the intro, some clips from the most recent IPCC report, which is a series of scientific findings about the impacts and the science around climate change, and one of the things that the IPCC has told us is that there are technologies that already exist that can help us mitigate the impact of climate change and to slow it from getting worse. Would you talk us maybe through some of what those technologies are, some of what they look like, where we’re seeing them in the real world, and also about the global challenges with implementing them on a broad scale?

SEC. ESPINOSA: Well, thank you for this opportunity to be able to talk about our agenda, the agenda to address climate change, which continues to be the most important and alarming existential threat for humanity, and let me just underline this at the beginning of this conversation.

Also, thank you for touching on the issue of technology which has been actually, in the history of humanity, one of the drivers for change, for changing our way of life, for changing the way that we use resources, sometimes for the good and sometimes not so much for the best of humanity and nature.

I want to say currently we are seeing very exciting and positive developments in the area of technology, and you have presented some of them in your brief video, introductory video. Of course, technologies for renewable sources of energy have really seen an incredible progress. Their costs have been falling systematically. This is a sector that has been producing as many, much more good jobs, new jobs, additional jobs throughout the world than many other energy industries. So that’s very promising.

We see also amazing developments regarding electric vehicles. In there, I think the big challenge remains to go towards electric vehicles for the freight industry, for the heavy vehicles, and also to focus and allow countries and especially big cities to focus on electrifying public transportation, because at the end, we need to really understand that we need to go towards leaving the single use, for the individual use of vehicles in favor of collective transportation.

There are also incredible improvements in smart agriculture, a better use of water, the way that the waste can be recycled, including the possibility of creating energy from waste, incredible developments as well in the building sector, in the construction sector, where we see that much more efficient technologies are being deployed, and while new buildings continue to be put in place, we really need that all of those new buildings incorporate these very smart and efficient technologies in terms of the use of water, the use of energy, the isolation technologies. So there’s really an incredible amount of things happening already.

Now, I have talked now about the technologies for big industries, but there are also very small innovations that are very useful, and let me just very quickly share with you an example that I really admire very much and that was one project, one winner of our process that we called momentum for change. And it’s a small initiative that provides a portable light, portable electricity facilities for health installations, and that has been just amazing for allowing women in very remote areas, in areas that do not have yet access to energy, to deliver their babies in a much more safe environment and also to have their babies ensure the best possible conditions to be received when they come to the world.

I’ll leave it at that. Of course, we can go on for hours, but‑‑

MR. DENNIS: It’s a big universe when you talk about technologies. It’s a large universe, and so thanks for somewhat of an overview there.

And I do want to raise, along those same lines, as with so much in climate change, as you know, it is a question of scale and a question of finance, and you’ve talked a lot about finance as well. And I’d like to ask you, what role does climate finance and investment play in being able to get many of those technologies, especially the large‑scale ones you talked about, off the ground and affordable and deployed all around the world? Where does that finance need to be flowing to? Is it to private industries who are developing these? Is it countries that are in need of this technology that might otherwise not have it? Can you just briefly talk about the role of finance and the challenges that come with them?

SEC. ESPINOSA: Finance is really in the center of the transformation that the world needs to undergo, that we all need to see, and I have to say that so far, we, the international community altogether, has not been performing as we should in terms of finance. The real needs of the transformation that is required really has not even been discussed.

We have within our process of climate change under the United Nations‑‑we have a goal which was that developed countries should mobilize $100 billion annually as of 2020. That goal has not yet been fulfilled, and that is disappointing, and it’s discouraging for many. And this is not only the fact that we don’t have the finance but then also the fact that it really goes against building trust, and so you start having countries asking themselves, well, you know, if I’m not going to be able to access finance to do that, those transformations at home, well, then why should I undertake more responsibilities? So it is critical. It is critical, and I would say that finance needs to flow to all different actors. It needs to flow to the governments, to the public sector, but it also needs to flow, especially in developing countries, to private sector.

Let me also address one issue that is a source of concern, especially to developing countries and the most vulnerable, particularly, which is access to finance, which is when we are hearing announcements of pledges being made, lots of resources being available to be invested, waiting to be invested, and at the same time, what we are seeing is that developing countries are facing enormous difficulties in accessing those funds. Not only is it difficult because it takes a long time, these are too long process, but also the requirements in terms of the technical data and the way that projects need to be presented are very cumbersome for them.

Of course, if you have a big country with a big institutional capacity, then you can do that, but let me share with you, I was just last week in the Maldives, and the minister of environment shared with me, you know, “We are in the department doing international issues on climate and environment. We are only, you know, a handful of people. We cannot do that.”

MR. DENNIS: It leads me to a similar question, and I’d like to raise a question we have here from our audience, from an audience member, from Luz in Missouri, who asks, what regions of the world present the biggest challenge in technology development and sharing‑‑and I would add‑‑and why is that?

SEC. ESPINOSA: Well, you know, it’s difficult. I mean, we here in UN Climate Change are really focused on the global perspective. So while we do receive the reports from individual countries and then in order to put together that information and present an overall view of where we are and how much progress we have done, we really focus on the overall picture.

But I can assure you that the biggest challenge in terms of technology, access to technology, is in the most vulnerable areas, the most vulnerable areas in the world, and that includes, in many cases, also countries that are not necessarily the poorest ones, but we do know we are very‑‑it is very clear that even in, you know, middle‑income countries or some countries that are emerging economies, the disparities that we see in those countries are enormous. So the access to technology for people in those countries is just amazing.

Let me just mention one area or one example of lack of access to technology and to solutions. If you look at how many homes still do not have access to clean cooking facilities, it is really appalling. It is something that you are not‑‑we should not be allowing happening in the 21st century.

So, instead of looking at regions, I would say we should look at the most vulnerable areas of society and the most vulnerable countries.

MR. DENNIS: So you and many other people have spoken about this, and it’s just clear that in this moment, the world is not currently on track to hit its climate goals‑‑that’s no secret‑‑and more specifically to limit temperature rise to the levels that are designated in the Paris Climate Agreement. Hitting the goals of that agreement and especially the most ambitious ones, no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming this century, scientists have said we’ll take reliance on technology, new technology, some that are not at scale yet, to reach those goals.

My first question is, how confident are you that humanity will pull off that challenge? Some of these technologies are not yet fully developed. And as you look at the climate problem in whole, is there a danger in putting too much hope or too much reliance that technology will save us from the climate problem and that we need to be‑‑have our focus in other areas as well?

SEC. ESPINOSA: Well, first of all, let me say I think that technology is really a very crucial element for us to be able to overcome this challenge, but technology alone cannot do the‑‑cannot be the solution. We need plans. We need very clear plans, that we need policies. We need structures. We need methodologies. We need‑‑you know, it’s really a very complex group of requirements that need to come together so that technology can effectively be deployed and become the solution. So that would be my first observation.

On the first question regarding whether I am optimist or not, yes, I am optimist. I think that, first of all, we have more knowledge than ever on what the challenges are, what the nature of this challenge, the climate change challenge is, and I think that is something that is making us all very well aware.

Second, we do have a plan. We know we need to get to the 1.5 degree goal. We know that we need to work on mitigation, on adaptation, and loss and damage. We know what we need to do. It’s not that we are facing a problem and we don’t have any idea on what is required to address it.

And, thirdly, you know, humanity has in the past overcome challenge that seemed really insurmountable, and so I would say, you know, why would this be the time where we are not able to overcome that?

Lots of technologies, lots of solutions are already being deployed, are on the ground. Yes, we need to increase the scope and scale. We need also to invest a lot more in nature, including, you know, in natural carbon sinks, because that’s one of the requirements. We need to get some of that carbon out of the atmosphere, and the best way, the easiest way, and probably the most cost‑effective way of doing it is through natural carbon sinks. So, yes, I think we can make it.

MR. DENNIS: So, Secretary Espinosa, we just have a couple more minutes, and I would like to wrap up here with a question looking toward the future. One is your own future. You are planning, I understand, to step down from your post this July after a six‑year stint. I’m wondering what sort of person you think should replace you in this role, what skills they’re going to need, what are the biggest challenges they are going to face in this important decade to come? So I think I’ll leave it there with that question.

SEC. ESPINOSA: Okay. Well, I think this is going to be a very important new face for the Secretariat also, not because I’m leaving, but because in Glasgow, we managed to finalize the Paris Agreement rule book, and now the climate change process is fully, fully equipped with all the tools in order to concentrate on implementation.

So now will be‑‑one of the biggest challenges for my successor will be to navigate from being a process that has started to concentrate on implementation but that have still a lot to do regarding negotiation towards a process that can really make an important contribution in the implementation. And that does not mean that the intergovernmental process will not be needed anymore because somebody needs to really keep track of the progress and what is happening. I don’t think the UNFCCC should become an implementing agency on the ground with projects. There are so many implementing agencies.

So the role I see for the Secretariat is more as a facilitator, as a convenor, as, you know, somebody that‑‑an entity that brings together the needs and the solutions.

MR. DENNIS: And you would say, in one line, what would your advice be to your successor, literally in one line, I think, as we wrap up?

SEC. ESPINOSA: Well, I would say, you know, be passionate about this. It’s really worth it.

MR. DENNIS: So I think we’re about out of time, and, Secretary Espinosa, thank you so much for taking time to join us here today.

SEC. ESPINOSA: Thank you.

MR. DENNIS: I’ll be back in just a few minutes with my next guest, Susan Stone of Ubiquitous Energy. Stay with us.

MS. UMOH: Hello. I’m Ruth Umoh, leadership editor at Fortune.

Today I’ll be joined by Christopher Wellise, director of Sustainability at AWS, to discuss the hugely critical role tech plays in driving a more sustainable future.

Welcome, Christopher. Thank you so much for joining us.

MR. WELLISE: Thank you for having me, Ruth.

Well, Christopher, let’s talk by level setting. What are some sustainability challenges that enterprise companies are facing today?

MR. WELLISE: Yes. Well, increasingly, Ruth, we’re really seeing our customers in every industry, in every region of the world telling us that sustainability is a top priority for them. It matters not just to them but to their customers, their employees, and to the communities in which they operate.

In many cases, issues like climate change have started impacting their own operations, whether it be related to extreme weather patterns, disruption of supply chains, or energy related issues. So it’s really unusual now when we talk to our enterprise customers for them not to want to talk to us about sustainability, not only because they want to be good corporate citizens but also because sustainability and efficiency really go hand to hand, whether it’s reducing water and energy consumption, for example, or reducing costs. These are all really issues that are top of mind for our customers, and they’re really looking to us to help them to reach their sustainability goals, because they know that Amazon is aggressively driving toward our own net‑zero carbon future, and we’re learning a lot on this journey that we’re happy to share with our customers.

MS. UMOH: You note that companies are at an inflection point. How then can technology make a positive impact on sustainability?

MR. WELLISE: Yes. There’s a couple of different ways that we’re engaging with our customers on the topic of sustainability. The low‑hanging fruit is really the opportunity that the cloud offers our customers. We know when they migrate from an on‑prem environment to the AWS cloud, there are huge efficiency gains primarily based upon our economies of scale. For instance, depending upon where they are in the world, improvements from an efficiency standpoint are anywhere between 3.6 and 5 times improvement over an on‑prem environment, and that has the impact of reducing their carbon footprint by greater than 80 percent. That will drive closer to 96 percent as we work toward achieving our 100 percent renewable energy target, which we’re on track to meet five years ahead of time by 2025.

Now, when you go beyond just that migration opportunity, the other opportunity is really the power that our services and that the cloud offers our customers around innovation. There is an example like, for instance, GE renewable energy, their use of our cloud technology to create digital twins related to their wind turbines, which they’re then able to optimize for production capacity once they’re built and operating and in the ground.

Another example is how we’re doing work with the agricultural industry. CropX is a cool company that we’re working with that uses thousands of sensors across over 1,200 farmers, which results in improving water savings by up to 40 percent and increasing crop yields by up to 10 percent.

Another example is how we’re working with Volkswagen. We’ve helped them to create the Volkswagen industrial cloud, which improves production efficiencies and provides real‑time status in overall equipment effectiveness on their cylinder production line. We’re able to improve efficiencies by up to 30 percent for Volkswagen.

So it’s really this combination of digital transformation and sustainability‑related transformation, and the lines are increasingly becoming blurred, and really at the core of both is the need for data and data insights. That drives both where our customers are seeking to do from a digital transformation perspective as well as helping them to become more sustainable.

MS. UMOH: Well, that’s quite the range of industries and use cases, and in light of that, Christopher, as I’m sure you already know, many companies have published ambitious sustainability goals, sustainability targets.

As we look to the future, what excites you about sustainability, and what do you think is achievable for companies?

MR. WELLISE: Well, I think we really are beginning to understand the challenges that things like climate change present, not just to us and our suppliers, but our customers as well, and we see the ability to rapidly reinvent around things like energy constraints, material constraints. And what excites me is the ability and insights that customers are now able to gain through the use of technology to do things like improve circularity, improve energy efficiency, and also how they’re consuming energy. There are new data, new tools at their disposal, new technologies like machine learning that help around things like optimization related to consumption, and I think these tools combined with the innovation excellence that many of our customers have are going to help create a sustainable future for us all.

MS. UMOH: Absolutely. Well, to your point, sustainability is a must in today’s business environment, and companies cannot afford to overlook it.

Christopher, thank you for your deep insights, and now back to The Washington Post.

MR. WELLISE: Thank you, Ruth.

MR. DENNIS: Hello, and welcome back. For those just joining, I am Brady Dennis, a national climate and environmental reporter here at The Post.

My next guest is the CEO of Ubiquitous Energy, a transparent solar technology company, and the CEO, Susan Stone. Susan, thank you so much for joining us here today.

MS. STONE: Thanks for having me.

MR. DENNIS: Sure. Let’s start this way. You are the CEO of a green technology company, and we know that for many people, at least in our current moment, the barrier for entry for many consumers on a lot of technology seems to be cost, and so I’m hoping you can talk a little bit about how businesses can and are working to lessen the costs of certain technologies, including the one which you’re involved.

MS. STONE: Yeah, absolutely. Cost‑‑you’re hitting right on exactly the right point for a caution here, and for technologies like ours, I’ll explain in a second what we do.

For technologies like ours, adoption is driven in large part by cost. What we do is we make transparent solar technology. It’s a technology that was invented at MIT, and the company was founded almost 10 years ago. So, if you can imagine, 10 years ago, we were in the lab making tiny little solar cells that you could see through, and now we make windows that embed that technology right within the window, within that product, so that windows and glass façades can make electricity without any compromises, you know, still maintaining all of the beautiful aesthetics and performance that we expect from our architectural glass.

Now, the key question is, what does it cost to implement this technology? And so, for us, from the beginning, we’ve been committed to mass adoption, and that means making sure that we can deliver at price points that are attractive in the marketplace. So, for us, half of the equation is how do we manufacture this product, how do we work with the supply chain that exists so that we can empower existing players in the market not only to bring us to market and to introduce us to their customers, but also to propel our growth throughout the supply chain, helping us learn what material components and manufacturing processes are scalable at mass scale and will drive mass adoption. So that’s really the cost component for us, and that’s something that’s relatively within our control.

The other half for us that I believe is incentives, and we talk about the clean energy tax credit that I think is a very popular concept right now. It’s got really broad support, and that is something that can really help technologies like ours as we move from a small scale beginning to manufacture into that very wide‑scale mass adoption, mass pricing. Helping us bridge that gap through incentives can really accelerate the path to mass adoption for folks like us.

MR. DENNIS: So I would like to come back to the issue of incentives a little more later in the interview.

I do want to ask, as we think and talk about climate change, we hear a lot about, you know, focus on the electricity sector and how we generate power, also about transportation and electric vehicles, and these are huge sectors. Also, something, you know, folks might not realize is that buildings are responsible for roughly 40 percent of the world’s emissions and have really proven to be a bit more difficult problem to solve. How do we cut the emissions that come from our buildings?

In what ways do you see green technologies helping mitigate emissions that come from buildings, and where are we in the line of like what more we must do? I mean, certainly, we have not figured out a way to make all buildings efficient.

MS. STONE: That’s right, and that 40 percent number, I think that shocks a lot of people because we don’t think about our buildings as being big carbon emitters, and that breaks down into roughly 10 percent from, you know, producing the building materials that go into the buildings and then, you know, 20 to 30 percent even how we operate those buildings. And so that’s what we address, how they operate those buildings.

I think, you know, one of the big challenges in the building sector is that buildings have such longevity. I think I read recently that two‑thirds of our building stock in 2040 will be buildings that we’re constructing today. So the first piece of how do we get our buildings to be more efficient is build urgently with a mind towards sustainable building, towards greener and more efficient buildings, and implement these new technologies as soon as they come online. There is no time to waste, and really the problem is urgent because once a building is constructed and essentially completed, most of the materials and technologies that are embedded in that building will be there for decades. So I think that presents a challenge in that we have a lot of existing building stock that we need to transform.

But it also is a massive opportunity, and so one of the ways I like to think about the opportunity is the scale here. For us, we’re in architectural glass. So that’s where I’m comfortable understanding the scale. There are 20 billion square feet of glass installed in architectural settings around the world every year. So if you lay that end to end, that’s 100 times around the globe every single year, and right now, that glass is pretty passive. What it does for us is generally it insulates the building. Everybody knows about these double‑pane insulated glass units these days. That’s what we do to insulate the building when we’re building with glass, and they typically reject solar heat, and so that is standard. Almost every building, almost every piece of window glass you can buy today has those two, you know, kind of basic technologies embedded in them.

If we can transform that into active electricity‑generating glass and not change anything else, not change how our buildings look, feel, how they perform for us as users, we can offset almost 10 percent of global carbon emissions by just generating electricity at the building and not changing anything else. And so, for me, that’s exciting, and really if we can get to mass adoption‑‑there are plenty of technologies like that. If we can get to mass adoption and really create urgency for building owners to build with these new technologies and make sure they’re implemented and that that’s a big focus for their new building design, we can turn that building stock over, and we can make sure that that two‑thirds of our building stock we’re building today is futureproof, and it’s going to work for us into the future.

MR. DENNIS: You talked about growing and how these technologies must grow in order for us to have more of a global impact. I wonder, tell us a bit about what support you think‑‑and this goes back to the incentive question. What support do companies like yours need in order to be able to scale up to the point where it makes a more substantial dent and has a bigger footprint, and is that just incentives for the manufacturers and creators of these technologies? Is it incentives for the consumers and they buy them? Like, what would super charge the power of technology to do more and do more quickly?

MS. STONE: Yeah. Well, they’re all helpful, and we’re a manufacturing company. We’re‑‑fortunately or unfortunately, we make a physical product, and so that requires building manufacturing facilities around the world and getting our technology produced and out into the market. So for newer technologies like ours‑‑and I would argue to just increase scale even from existing technologies‑‑incentives across the board are valuable.

I think consumer incentives, for me, are particularly valuable because they super charge that demand. They offset potential price increases for implementing the new technology. They can also help really offset the risk profile. It is risky to invent new technology into your building, and it feels risky, and so incentives can help offset that feeling as well. So I love the consumer side of incentives.

On the manufacturing and, you know, further upstream incentives, those are really valuable too. I think Patricia said‑‑I took a note because I thought it was so well said. She said finance is at the center of the transformation here, and we absolutely believe that to be true. And I think incentives and public sector support really helps private dollars flow into the companies that are being supported because it’s just that added layer of extra juice and extra growth that public‑sector incentive can influence for us.

MR. DENNIS: You know, we use the term “green technology,” and there’s other phrases. It is a vast world, and I just wonder, since you live and work in this world, what other products are you enthusiastic about that could actually have the potential to move the needle on things like climate change and helping lower emissions? When you look around your industry, what excites you?

MS. STONE: Oh, gosh, there’s so much that excites me. I’m so interested in storage right now. I think there’s so many new developments in battery technology that are going to, again, be just transformational for our renewable energy industry.

I’m a very big believer in sharing our electricity generation between utility scale at the grid and distributed energy at a building or even at your device, and so storage is the key to that. You want your electricity to be available to you whenever you need it, and so these new battery technologies are so exciting. I love following what’s happening there. It’s pretty transformational.

Within the building sector, I get excited about other embedded technologies. So I love solar roofs. I think Tesla has a beautiful solar roof. There’s a company, GAF, that’s making solar roof tiles that can installed just like roof tiles, and you can nail through them. That’s also really exciting to me.

And on a personal level, I’m dying to get a geothermal heat pump, and so those are exciting to me too, helping the homeowners move off of kind of fossil fuel furnaces and move to renewable energy for their HVAC systems in their home. Those are exciting too, and they’re here. That technology is available.

I grew up in Maryland, and it wasn’t a geothermal heat pump, but we had a heat pump when I was a kid, and so these technologies are not necessarily new. We just need to implement them.

MR. DENNIS: So you have an investing background yourself, and I just want to ask you now as a CEO of a company working on these issues. Obviously, the bulk of funding comes from private industry, but I also am curious what role you think the government has to play here in incentivizing these new technologies. Is there a role? What should that role be? What more could and should the government be doing? I mean, this is a question for around the world. I’m thinking here in our country mostly.

MS. STONE: Well, here in our country, I think I mentioned a clean energy tax credit earlier, and I think that’s one of the programs that really makes me so hopeful, in part, because I think it would be a real driver for our industry but more because it has such broad support. I think polling is showing there’s 90 percent support right now for clean energy tax credits and for public sector support here, and that in itself makes me so hopeful.

I heard you ask Patricia if technology was going to save us, and I loved her answer because I agree with it that technology is a tool for us to save ourselves, and so public‑sector support and government support through those incentive programs is immense.

I also think there’s a terrific loan program from the Department of Energy that we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to take advantage of. That also helps. It helps companies like ours build manufacturing facilities. I think‑‑I do come from a finance background. I’ve spent a lot of time with venture capital investors and investment bankers in my day, and there has been in the past, an allergy to investing in hard assets and investing in manufacturing, and I’m really seeing that ease. And I think programs like‑‑there’s a Department of Energy’s loan program that Jigar Shah manages. Those can also help, help get comfort around private capital so that they know that the government is there with them hand in hand and supporting these companies.

MR. DENNIS: I think people would be interested in hearing a little bit about what it is like in this industry these days, and by that, I mean how competitive is it for the pool of money, you know, when you’re looking for investors in these technologies. Are most companies supportive of each other in the shared mission of, you know, curbing the effects of climate change? Is it‑‑in what ways is it competitive as far as, you know, trying to fund your own company and trying to grow that at scale? And I just wonder if you could talk about how the industry works with each other or not, but how is that working as everyone‑‑it is obviously a business but does have this, the shared larger goal.

MS. STONE: Yeah. Hugely collaborative. I think that’s really what I’ve experienced here, and we really live in two industries. We live in the kind of renewable energy climate technology, and on the other hand, we live in building products, architectural glass windows because that’s the channel that our products go into, and across both, I would say tons of support, a lot of collaboration, and I think, in particular, with climate tech folks, there is a real feeling that we’re in this together. It’s an urgent problem. It’s an all‑hands‑on‑deck moment, and is there competition for dollars? I would say sure, but it’s a very, very light competition. I have never found somebody‑‑I have yet to encounter, I should say, someone at another company who wasn’t willing to make an introduction to be supportive, to have a discussion about a potential partnership, and I think that is also indicative of this moment in time and really the urgency of the problem.

You have a lot of people coming together that recognize that there’s no one technology or one company that’s going to solve this problem, and many of the technologies that we’re bringing online go into highly choreographed industries where we need to be working together, we need to be working with existing industry, and kind of cutthroat competition for dollars doesn’t sync with that mentality or the necessity to bring those network effects to our market.

MR. DENNIS: So I think we just have a brief minute or so here, and I wanted to ask you. You know, I’m struck that we’re sitting here today having this conversation with a lot of open‑ended, unknown questions. Can we grow, you know, businesses like yours and others, the technologies that they are‑‑that they are producing? Can we do it at a global scale? All these sort of unknowns in this moment. And I wonder as you look ahead, how do you think this conversation we’re having would sound or feel different a decade from now or two decades from now, three decades from now? What do you think we would be talking about then, and what do you think this industry will look like in the decades ahead?

MS. STONE: Well, hopefully, we reach a moment. I don’t know how many decades away we are from it, but I hope we reach a moment where we don’t talk about climate tech. We just‑‑climate tech is technology, and that’s just our baseline orientation is that everything that we do needs to be with an eye towards protecting our planet and making our energy more renewable and our buildings more efficient, and so that’s my sincere hope is that we’re not here talking about this with the same urgency and that we’re looking back and, you know‑‑I don’t know about congratulating ourselves, but I hope that we’re looking back and saying we rose to the occasion.

And I think, you know, as we heard, you know, Patricia was talking about how hopeful she is about humanity and that we’ve been through real challenges before‑‑and I also believe that to be true, and so that’s my sincere hope is that we’re looking back and saying we came together here. We met the problem with urgency, and we solved it together collectively, and I think we have a real opportunity to do that. So let’s check in. Let’s check in, in 10 years, and see what we’re calling this, this industry. I bet it’s not climate tech.

MR. DENNIS: [Laughs] Well, with that, I think we’re just about out of time. Susan Stone, thank you so much for joining me here today.

MS. STONE: Thank you. It’s my pleasure.

MR. DENNIS: And thanks to all of you for watching. I’m Brady Dennis. To learn more about our upcoming programs, please visit, and thanks again.