Host James is joined by Dr Emilka Skrzypek (St Andrews) for a special youth-focused episode of the All About Energy podcast. Our hosts welcome two guests into the virtual studio – the winner and runner-up of the Centre for Energy Ethics’ 3MPlanet competition: Isabella Cuervo-Lorens and Georgina Steel. Our guests reflect on their journeys into the worlds of sustainability and climate change and the importance of the youth voice.
Climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives have driven up demand for rare minerals. Over 3 billion tons of rare minerals will be needed to achieve the global goal of reducing emissions to net-zero. A key site of extraction of these minerals is Sub-Saharan Africa. Will these regions acquire a share in this mineral boom or will the historical exploitation of these communities continue under the guise of supporting the ‘Green Transition’?
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic initially led to a drop in global CO2 emissions, post-lockdown emissions are reported to be back in line with their previous trajectories. Along with this resurgence of carbon emissions, I am observing an increasing use of single-use plastics and other environmentally unsustainable practises. How do coronavirus measures, whether we agree with them or not, affect our sustainability efforts?
The production of energy through the burning of biological materials has been considered a renewable, reliable and even relatively clean alternative to the use of fossil fuels. However, as the industry has grown these claims have faced increased scrutiny; critics have claimed that biomass on a large scale has negative long- and short-term environmental impacts not only on pollution but on biodiversity generally. So we have to ask: is biomass an energy source of the future?
Whilst many political leaders appear to prioritise the health of citizens over economic growth during this pandemic, why have they not prioritised the health of the planet over economic gains in the face of climate change?