Following from the December COP28 climate summit, we find ourselves at a pivotal juncture with the world’s governments clearer than ever about “transitioning away from fossil fuels.” Now, what is next for the oil sector and for all of us—the consumers of oil? Is COP’s sweeping announcement setting a ceiling for the global ambition on climate, or merely a floor?
As oil is phased out sector-by-sector, how can the electrification of vehicles handle demand for road transport? And what about the sectors where substitutes are still a work in progress, like petrochemicals, aviation and shipping? Is it really feasible to phase out oil completely, as we discussed with the IEA in the previous episode?
In this episode, we explore these questions with Anand Gopal, the Executive Director of Policy Research at Energy Innovation, an energy transition think tank based in San Francisco. We review the findings from several of Energy Innovation’s recent reports, we discuss the outlook for oil demand, and we get Anand’s first-person observations from this year’s COP.
Anand Gopal is the Executive Director of Policy Research at Energy Innovation, where he leads the firm’s research and modeling teams, supporting policy design to reduce emissions equitably at the speed and scale required to meet the climate challenge. Anand has worked in clean energy and climate for two decades, predominantly in policy analysis.
From 2018 to 2021, he was a program officer in the Environment Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where he managed the program’s global strategic grantmaking on clean power and transportation, as well as support for climate policy in India.
Prior to the Hewlett Foundation, Anand was a research scientist in clean energy and transportation at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where he led LBNL’s global research on energy policy solutions for climate mitigation.
He is Vice Chair of the Board at the International Council on Clean Transportation and a board member at Veloz, and is a regular contributing author on clean transportation at Forbes. He holds a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in environmental systems engineering from Humboldt State University, and a B.S. in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
On Twitter: @anandrg
On the Web: Anand’s page at Energy Innovation
Recording date: December 19, 2023
Air date: January 24, 2024
Geek rating: 9