Governing the Promise and Peril of Emerging Climate Technologies

Shuchi Talati, former chief of staff of the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy & Carbon Management, discusses the need for strong governance to balance the potential benefits of carbon dioxide removal technologies with environmental and social risks. This is episode one in the Exploring Governance series.
This episode is the first in a three-part series that explores governance challenges surrounding the transition to clean energy. Listen to episodes two and three.

In early April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest assessment report, which warned that the global carbon budget to keep climate warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is quickly being exhausted, and that the use of technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has become “unavoidable” if climate damages are to be limited.

The report has been followed by announcements from leading technology companies of more than $2 billion dollars in commitments to commercialize carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies. The IPCC report, and financing commitments, point to increasing acceptance of emerging climate technologies that were once viewed as options of last resort to address climate change.

In the podcast Shuchi Talati, scholar in residence with the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment at American University, discusses the governance of these emerging climate technologies which, despite their promise, raise concerns around their potential impacts on ecosystems, economies, and issues of social equity, and even over the pace of decarbonization itself. 

Andy Stone: Welcome to the Energy Policy Now podcast from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m Andy Stone. In early April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest assessment report, which emphasizes that the window of opportunity to head off climate change’s worst impacts has substantially narrowed. The global carbon budget to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is likely to be exhausted before the end of this decade. The report concludes that the use of technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is now “unavoidable” if we are to limit climate related damages. The report has been followed in recent weeks by announcements from leading technology companies of more than $2 billion worth of commitments to commercialize carbon dioxide removal technologies. The report and financing highlight the fact that emerging climate technologies that were once viewed as options of last resort to address climate change are now increasingly viewed as essential climate tools.

On the podcast, we’re going to discuss the governance of these emerging climate technologies, which, despite their promise, generate controversy around their potential impacts on ecosystems, economies and issues of social equity and even over the pace of decarbonization itself. Today’s discussion is the first of three episodes that will explore governance questions around the transition to clean energy. Today’s guest is Shuchi Talati. Shuchi is a Scholar in Residence with the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment at American University and former Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the Department of Energy. Her work focuses on governance questions that surround emerging climate technologies. Shuchi, welcome to the podcast.

Shuchi Talati: Thanks so much for having me.

Stone: So to get us started today, I just wanted to note that there have been, as I said in the intro, a number of announcements over the last few months in support of technologies that have the potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. There’s the $2 billion in private capital from large technology companies to commercialize CDR. There’s a $3.5 billion commitment in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed last year to support carbon dioxide removal. And there’s also the carbon negative shot that aims to reduce the cost of CDR to less than $100 per metric ton. Given all of these commitments, I’d like to get your input on what they say about the state of carbon dioxide removal technologies today.

Talati: Sure. I think it’s a tricky question because CDR has lived in this taboo place for several years, and we’ve seen that change exponentially over the last five years. I think seeing this early state of investment really signifies that people are recognizing that we’re going to need CDR. And that’s a hard thing to say. Having to need CDR means that we’ve come to a place where mitigation is not successful enough to limit climate impacts. So there’s a really important piece that the government is saying, that the private sector is saying, and a lot of civil society is saying as well.

Stone: So we’re going to be talking about governance around these emerging technologies. Before we get started, can you define governance and broadly, I guess, the goals of good governance in the context of emerging climate technologies?

Talati: So in the broader context, governance basically encompasses processes and frameworks that dictate how a technology is going to develop, exist, and move through the world. And so that means it doesn’t just include the government or the public sector, but also academia to govern research, the private sector, civil society organizations like nonprofits and labor unions. All of these pieces come together to dictate the answers to those questions around an emerging technology. And to answer your question around good governance, that is a very hard question that a lot of scholars work on and a lot of public sector members work on as well. And so when we think about what good governance means, it’s about responsibility, it’s about justice, it’s about sustainability. And so those questions really have to be answered in very conscious ways. And so how do we deploy it responsibly? Through funding mechanisms, through creating technology standards? How do we ensure meaningful community engagement? How do we make sure that transparency is the core of how we’re investing in these technologies that have never been built before? How do we make sure that regulatory mechanisms are ensuring environmental safety and public health, but not creating overly burdensome requirements for new technologies that we don’t need? And so when we think about good governance, it’s the answers to all of those questions working in harmony. And that’s a really hard thing to do.

Stone: So we started out here talking, or at least I started out talking about carbon dioxide reduction, but there are a lot of different technologies, emerging climate technologies, that are potentially open to discussion here. What are some of the technologies that are really top of mind when we look at governance challenges?

Talati: So carbon dioxide removal is absolutely one of those pieces. I think the interesting thing about CDR is it encompasses so many different kinds of approaches. Right now, I think direct air capture is probably the most significant in terms of funding. The three and a half billion dollars that you mentioned form the infrastructure package, is entirely for direct air capture hubs to be built over the next 5 to 10 years. But within the umbrella of CDR, we also have things that are very much different than direct air capture, things that are very emerging and even more nascent, which is really saying something     . Things like ocean alkalinity enhancement or enhanced mineralization, or even things like soil carbon sequestration, afforestation. These are all very different types of approaches that can fall under this umbrella, which requires very different kinds of governance because the questions they pose are so different.

Stone: So there is a pretty intimidating list of governance questions that are raised by these different technologies. You and a group of coauthors released a paper about a year-and-a-half ago that lays out fundamental principles for the governance of carbon dioxide reduction specifically. I’d like to borrow that framework, if I may, for our conversation, because I think it does a really good job at making clear what we’re dealing with or at least laying it out. The first thing that you mentioned among those four principles is that CDR is a valuable tool, but scaling will take decades, scaling of the technology. So the timeframe is critical to any governance considerations here. Can you        tell us why?

Talati: When we’re developing a technology, it’s when we’re creating the standards around how it will be built. And so when we build the first project, for example, for direct air capture, ensuring that we have robust community engagement at making sure that we think about potential resource use like land, water and energy, and making sure that that is absolutely integrated into how the project is being built. And the answers to those questions, those are just a few of them. Will shape the industry. The first of a kind sets the precedent. So when you think about something that might not be at scale until 2050, now is when those questions can really be shaped and answered. And we have the power to make sure we do these things in the right way. And I think that the hard part that I think we often forget is that if we don’t do it in the right way, if we rushed to deploy, when we’re not ready, we don’t have a lot of these questions answered, it could set the industry back by a decade because governance isn’t just influenced by the public sector making those decisions. Governance is also influenced by the people it’s impacting. So civil society organizations, community organizations, local governments could push back quite a bit. And creating that kind of framework could absolutely change how technology evolves. And so the timeline questions really need to be answered at this stage because they will dictate the future of CDR.

Stone: Well, what you just said, you brought in a lot of different players in making these decisions. And I think the question next is who governs? Okay. So you were at the DOE, curious what is the DOE looking at in terms of defining its role in governance and who else might be important in the governance decisions?

Talati: It’s such an important question because I think when people think about governance, the conversation really focuses on government itself, which is obviously of crucial importance. For civil society organizations like environmental nonprofits, labor unions, community advocacy groups, they’re all such important actors of governance as well. And as you said, the tricky part of this question is how governments decide to define their role in governance. Is it their responsibility to ensure beneficial outcomes or is it their role to push to achieve a certain goal like net zero by 2050? I think the answer is both, to achieve net zero and to do so in a just and sustainable way. But that is entirely my opinion. And the way people get pressured in different directions, especially from political systems, will often dictate what gets prioritized and that’s really challenging. When it comes to DOE, I think we’re seeing that play out right now. I think as we are seeing the first massive CDR investments, which just to emphasize, this three and a half billion dollars is the biggest investment in history in the world. So it’s quite significant in that way. So we’re seeing this kind of theoretical CDR technology conversation really come to fruition and being applied to the real world. So as we think about what the Department of Energy’s role is in that, this money is going to dictate the industry. So that’s a lot of pressure to be in that position and also a huge opportunity and responsibility.

Thinking through those pieces, creating a framework in which they can govern the technology is incredibly important. Just looking at something like the carbon negative shop, which has requirements around monetary reporting and verification, which has requirements around permanent storage, which is the requirement about actually proving what you’re doing is leading to carbon removal, has requirements around equity and justice. And so working in a governance framework that you can create, can really help the Department of Energy build these projects in a just and sustainable way. I think a really difficult question is that these agencies exist in political systems. So right now, as a Biden-Harris administration, well, I’m slightly biased since I just came out of that, but they have created a framework to set these projects up for a potential success. A really hard question to grapple with is will that be true in the next administration? And these projects are very long term. For example, in the infrastructure package, the first direct air capture plant may not actually start to be constructed for maybe two years. Once that happens, that might be in the midterm of another election. So all these standards and all these governance measures that this administration might have created may not exist when these projects are being built. And defining what the department’s role is in that space becomes a really hard question to answer, because good governance isn’t the same thing as governance towards a specific end. If they’re just trying to build their projects to meet certain requirements or to benefit the fossil fuel industry, that type of director capture plant is very different than one that is built with potential community ownership and support, one that is actually leading to carbon removal, that is powered by renewable energy and putting the carbon dioxide in permitted storage. Those are very different things.

Stone: The second point that you bring up here is that the focus can’t just be on removing carbon. I think you’ve just started to allude to that, that the social and environmental context can’t be overlooked. As it says in the papers, social and environmental impacts may justify or outweigh the use of CDR. I wonder if you could go a little deeper into what that means.

Talati: Yeah. I think a really important thing to say is that technology themselves don’t dictate outcomes, and it’s really about how society decides to use them and in what context, like you said. So for CDR, the idea that fossil fuel companies could use CDR to continue business as usual and make profits off of continued to extract oil and gas is a major risk. However, CDR could also theoretically be used as an accountability mechanism. For example, forcing fossil fuel companies to pay for it and only allowing the public sector to build and benefit from it. That social context is so critical in how people perceive the technology. And so the questions around what context can CDR exist is really up to us to decide. And the way it’s built, like we talked about earlier, the timelines in which you make those decisions will dictate that social framework. I think a huge challenge right now is this idea of CDR distracting from mitigation investments. And is investments, both time and money, in carbon dioxide removal distracting people from the really important mitigation pieces that need to be addressed? Or to saying that mitigation won’t matter as much because we have CDR.

I think it’s incredibly critical to say that we have to reduce emissions as quickly as possible, as much as possible. CDR will always be more expensive, it will always be harder to do. And for each ton of CO2 that you remove, it is way cheaper not to remove it in the first place. I just want to say that at the outset that CDR is not an ideal solution. But when we think about the context in which it’s built, if we’re not reducing emissions very much in, say, the 2040s, and we have to start scaling CDR massively, who’s going to be doing that at that point? And the only industries that are big enough to be able to handle that at scale are not necessarily industries people of trust, like the fossil fuel industry. So that social context is very different than the 2040s where we have massively reduced emissions. Renewables are deployed at scale across the world and we’re just trying to decarbonize the last few pieces like industry in aviation and shipping. And that’s where CDR can really help us get to net zero. Obviously, we don’t have the answers to those questions, but making sure that we think about them right now and what those governance questions mean, it is just so critical to how people perceive it.

Stone: Well, it’s interesting because on one side, we’re saying that there’s a risk that the prospect of CDR will make people basically say we don’t need to move quickly, we can always suck out the carbon later on, and then the mitigation doesn’t happen as quickly as it needs to right now. On the flip side, we also need to scale these technologies now so that they are ready in the future in case. And according to the IPCC, it looks like the case is that they will be needed at that time. A very interesting point that also comes out here is that there will need to be some societal, political changes that will have to take place so that the scaling of CDR to the level at which it will actually make a dent on the climate problem can happen. And you allude to that, and the group of the authors allude to that in the paper, that these societal changes are going to be crucial so that CDR actually has a chance. Can you talk about that?

Talati: So when we think about how we scale CDR and in what context that might happen, it absolutely will be dictated by political systems. We don’t know what those systems might be, but what we do know is that we have a very limited opportunity right now to shape decisions around the technology and how it’s been built out today. One really important question is who is even asking the questions around what we need to answer. I think what we’re seeing right now is a really limited set of participants around CDR. Even though that might not seem like the case. We finally have government interaction, we finally have private sector interaction and civil society. But it’s really not that much compared to, for example, the renewable industry. We have so many participants opining on different types of policy and legislation and regulation and oversight, which is critical to a functioning society for how these technologies are going to move forward. We don’t have enough for CDR, and I think that that inclusivity piece is often lost and how important that might be to how technology develops. When it comes to thinking about those political systems, having more inclusivity, having more people weigh in and participate in this conversation about a new technology can influence those political systems to govern better than they might be.

As we think about other types of emerging technologies like solar geoengineering, for example, I think that’s something that we’re seeing where even fewer people are participating. And I can’t say this enough, good governance is absolutely dependent on public participation. I just want to say that one more time because for CDR, these projects will live in communities. And communities have to be able to learn about the technology, have to be able to participate in its benefits, minimize its harm, and create an infrastructure in which the technology is part of their ecosystem. The technology being deployed by DOE, for example, is a really difficult way to talk about things that might exist on the ground. And I think when we talk about the private sector, that gap is even wider. CDR is so complicated in that there’s no market demand, there’s no actual incentive or operating system. Government has to create that for the long term. So when you think about who is deploying these things, and who is going to benefit, the communities have to be able to participate in that discussion. We just don’t have an infrastructure right now. A really important governance question right now that we don’t have the answer to, is how do we create that infrastructure?

Stone: Right now, as you as you just mentioned, it’s private industry that’s funding this. It’s not really at the governmental level in terms of the governance questions. If government doesn’t come up with a strong governance framework, can private industry govern itself as it scales up CDR?

Talati: That’s a hard question and I honestly have an opinion, but I will say that we’ve seen versions of that question be answered poorly. I think self-governance is very challenging, and I think for the private sector, their motive is profit. So asking an industry that has no actual incentive to serve the public good to ensure outcomes for the public is very tricky. So we have to talk about what a public private partnership looks like and what the role of the public sector should be for something that could potentially be a multi-gigatons scale. I think important governance questions here are around motivation and who the actors are. For government, ideally speaking, the motivation is the public good. That’s not the motivation for a lot of these companies that are investing in CDR. I think we’re also seeing an offset market that is incredibly fraught and has, I mean, such huge issues with it that its success is very hard to see in the long term. But when it comes to the companies that are making these kinds of declarations and investments, a lot of them are trying to do so in a way where they’re building in the pieces that I’ve talked about transparency, public engagement, social science. I’m very hopeful that their investments proved to be fruitful in a way that is extremely beneficial. But really in the end, it’s the government that has to create an environment in which they’re forced to do so. So whether it’s companies that are building CDR to scale, it has to be in the framework of a governance structure that oversees them.

Again, I think it comes back to that piece around demand. If a company were to build a direct air capture plant, for example, what is their incentive right now to continue operating? There isn’t one because there’s no one paying for CDR. And when we’re talking about the scales that we are, no one can afford to do that individually. The only actors that can do that is the federal government. And so the private sector alone really can’t address this problem because of the scale that we’re talking about. And I’m incredibly heartened to see so many companies wanting to participate in a good way. I think the scale and the speed at which we’re moving really mean that government involvement has to evolve equally as rapidly. And we’re starting to see that. We’ve seen a lot of movement in the first year of the Biden-Harris administration. What scares me is the issue that I raised earlier, which is that the Biden-Harris administration is going to be limited. I don’t know what’s next. So what evolves from the public sector to oversee the CDR system that the private sector might be building might be very different. So the requirements that might exist or might not exist could really change what public benefits look like.

Stone: We’ve been discussing this in the context of U.S. policy, right? But climate change is obviously a global problem. And I think it comes to the next question which is that, governance, it seems, asks different questions at the national and global scale. Nationally, it may be where does the infrastructure go? Who does it impact? Who does it benefit? Who does it benefit or impact economically as well? Globally, though, we’re looking at impacts that are much broader, much more focused on the differentials in those impacts around the world. Wonder if you could talk about that a little bit?

Talati: Yeah. When we think about global governance, the questions are much more complicated. And I come back to that point about public participation, because that means at a global scale as well. When we look at something like CDR that has global impact where these projects are built and who benefits, come back to this global sense of that question, right? It’s not just about domestic benefits. It’s about global benefits because climate is impacting people right now. There’s a coauthor on the paper that you mentioned who’s written a lot about CDR in the context of the Global South. And one governance framing that’s really interesting to me is CDR as a form of climate reparations. So just just thinking about that in theory, the United States has created a lot of these issues for a global set of nations. Is it then our responsibility to build these projects in places that will benefit from them, where people in those places will get jobs from them, will build economic prosperity in those places? And that’s a really interesting way of thinking about CDR. Because a lot of the arguments right now against CDR are claiming kind of these overarching things around whether or not it’s just, whether or not it’s going to propagate the fossil fuel industry. Those are really important questions. But another important thing about governance is who’s answering those questions, right? It’s not just that these questions are posed and then governments get to decide how they’re answered.

We should be thinking about how other countries are viewing these questions when it comes to, for example, building a direct air capture plant. How that’s perceived by a community in California might be very different than how that’s perceived by the community in the Global South. That’s not to say that the Global South is a homogenous place. It’s extremely heterogeneous. Different places are experiencing different kinds of climate impacts and might feel differently about different types of CDR approaches. So when we think about the global context of CDR governance, I think we have to put those in perspective of where projects might be, how people might feel about them and how they might benefit from them. Again, that requires a really different way of thinking about public participation. I think often when we talk about that, people imagine a specific type of interaction or a public education or public comment periods on new regulations. But in a global sense, these are new questions. We really haven’t created governance mechanisms around emerging technologies where we are asking questions to places that aren’t the United States. For CDR though, that really changes how we talk about climate, and that requires a global scale conversation. I think that’s really hard to imagine, but it’s what good governance dictates.

Stone: Now, I want to jump for a moment to another technology, which is solar geoengineering, which we haven’t really spoken about yet. And that also raises major governance concerns. Solar geoengineering is unique among climate solutions in a number of ways, notably that its impacts are immediate. And individual actors, individual countries or even areas within the country could implement solar geoengineering with a global, immediate impact in a way that CDR just doesn’t have. You’ve said that the governance of geoengineering and CDR must be linked, why is that?

Talati: Solar geoengineering is so different than the CDR for the reasons you said, but is very different in that the timeline on which it could act and address some types of impacts could be immediate. So I just want to say at the forefront that the reason to talk about solar geoengineering is its potential to limit human suffering. And because it can potentially do that quickly versus CDR, which is long term, matters. So solar geoengineering as a technology is not a long term solution. It does not address the core issue outside emissions, but because of its potential around limiting human suffering, it could potentially be needed. So when we think about it and in the context of mitigation, adaptation and CDR, if we’re potentially deploying solar geoengineering, it has to be done in the context of thinking about how to stop it. Solar geoengineering can’t be used indefinitely. Or if we wanted to stop using it, we would have to be actively removing emissions to be able to mitigate damage from stopping using solar geoengineering. And because of those issues, all of these things are interlinked. We cannot think about using solar geoengineering if we’re not removing carbon from the atmosphere, if we’re not actually reducing emissions, and if we’re not thinking about adaptation measures that continue to be necessary. CDR is the only way to stop using solar geoengineering in a safe way. So when we think about governance of solar geoengineering, the success of that deployment and the success of that termination are entirely dependent on a successful deployment sphere, which means successful governance.

Stone: The third and fourth principles of those four principles that had been outlined in the paper were essentially, one, is that don’t count on CDR being available in the future. And the other one is we have to be careful what role it’s going to play or is it going to do too much? Is it going to do too little? Are we going to do it incorrectly? I think that gets us to the next point here, is that governance can be used in many different ways, right? So, ideally, governance takes a dispassionate view on whether something is good or bad, how it should be managed so that it has positive outcomes and minimizes the negative outcomes. But it could also be used politically, right? Governance could be used to stop technologies that we may need in the future. Can you talk about those dangers?

Talati: Absolutely. I think governance actually does take a view on whether something is good or bad. And I think we’ve seen that through the lens of nuclear weapons. Governance, I think, acknowledges that nuclear weapons are inherently bad and we have to make sure that they’re not used. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but the people who are deciding what is good and what is bad are inherently part of that decision. And so when it comes to something like CDR or solar geoengineering, there’s no answer to that question yet. We haven’t had the opportunity to figure out if something is good or bad. I think when we look at the process of figuring that out, that’s a different process from CDR versus something like solar geoengineering. When we’re thinking about CDR and its potential use and need, I think we have come to the conclusion that CDR will be needed. I think the governance questions around making sure that the regulatory infrastructure is created in a way that provides safety and responsibility and all of those pieces that we’ve talked about. But also is it creating overly burdensome requirements is something that’s come up a lot in a lot of different types of emerging technology governance.

For example, let’s talk about carbon dioxide pipelines. For a director of a capture plant, if you’re capturing carbon dioxide, you potentially will need to transport it to a permanent storage location, which will require carbon dioxide pipelines. The regulatory infrastructure around pipelines is challenging and it’s fraught. It’s deeply contentious. Building pipelines safely through communities is a very difficult thing to figure out and you want to make sure that you’re doing it with the least amount of harm possible. Now, creating governance mechanisms that ensure that are incredibly important to its success. But how do you also make sure that those regulatory pieces aren’t preventing a single pipeline from being built because the safety pieces or because the pushback that you might be receiving are asking for things that are too difficult to integrate into deploying the system as quickly as possible. We don’t have the answers to those questions. I think we’re going to see a lot of that play out in real time as we start building these projects, as we start needing pipelines, how civil society and how government and the private sector interact with each other will dictate how these get pieces put together. And I think it’s going to be a really challenging landscape when we’re building the plane as we’re flying it.

Stone: So, Shuchi, a final question for you here. In the bipartisan infrastructure bill, there were $3.5 billion for carbon dioxide reduction. Have legislators given much thought beyond financing to some of the governance questions that we’ve been discussing today?

Talati: Yeah, absolutely. If you look at the infrastructure package and other types of legislation, there are requirements in how money is spent. And any type of legislation really is governance. A lot of what Congress does is that they hold the purse and to deciding what to fund and setting what R&D agenda is, is governance. So really how they are making those decisions, whether or not they’re considering the fact that it is governance, it absolutely is. I think what’s interesting about those pieces is that when it goes from legislation, it moves to the agencies for implementation. What policy implementation is, is deciding how things get built and what frameworks, under what infrastructure these things happen. Which really exist to answer a myriad of governance questions, which is how do we ensure that people benefit? How do we ensure that there’s a minimal amount of harm? Under what types of regulation do we need to make sure these things are done safely? Are there standards that have to be put in place for bridges to not fall down? All of those things are also governance. And so I think it’s hard because people who work in these spaces often don’t think under the framework of “Governance”. But everything they do falls under that because every decision they make is a decision about these technologies and is getting one step closer to answering how it’s going to be deployed.

I think in this administration, something that we’ve been really careful to do is to ask some of these overarching questions early on. So, for example, when it comes to the money you mentioned, three and a half billion for carbon dioxide removal, for direct air capture hubs, something we’re really critical of is making sure that communities and the broader public is engaged in how that process unfolds. And I think that’s really hard to do. But making sure that we actually set a framework of which it could happen, it could happen well, it’s so important to how CDR will be built. Even creating that framework, though, is a governance decision. Deciding not to do it’s also a governance decision. And today’s real question, everything that these actors do, whether Congress or an agency, is governance. Whether or not it’s active or recognized in that framework, I think, is an open question. But they imminently have the power to shape all of the pieces we talked about in defining what governance is.

Stone: Before we finish up, is there anything you’d like to comment on that I forgot to ask about?

Talati: I will say, I think, just one more extra piece around emerging technologies other than carbon dioxide removal, which we focused on a lot, and solar geoengineering, there are so many other emerging technologies that are asking really critical questions. Like autonomous vehicles or CRISPR, or even figuring out how to regulate new types of digital platforms like Uber and all of the ways we make those decisions around other types of technologies dictate and influence governance around climate technologies. I say that just to say that governance is entirely interrelated. We’re not making decisions in a vacuum and all of these things impact each other. So whether or not that’s self regulation from researchers or the private sector, giving them the autonomy to do that in one space means that it could exist in another. That’s to say that climate technologies are where I focus. But governance broadly is a question that we have to answer as a society and with real input from the public. And everything we do, whether it’s for automatic vehicles or CDR, should always be done with the public benefit in mind.

Stone: Shuchi, thanks for talking.

Talati: Thanks so much for having me.

Stone: Today’s guest has been Shuchi Talati, Scholar in Residence with the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment at American University. Thanks for listening to Energy Policy Now and stay tuned for our next two episodes, which will further explore the issue of governance and the energy transition. Visit the Kleinman Center’s website for the Podcast archive and to explore Energy Policy research and events from the center. Our web address is: Kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu. Thanks for listening to Energy Policy Now, and have a great day.


Shuchi Talati

Founder, The Alliance for Just DSG
Shuchi Talati is the founder of The Alliance for Just Deliberation on Solar Geoengineering and a 2022-2023 Kleinman Center visiting scholar. Recently, she served as a Presidential Appointee at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Biden Administration.

Andy Stone

Energy Policy Now Host and Producer
Andy Stone is producer and host of Energy Policy Now, the Kleinman Center’s podcast series. He previously worked in business planning with PJM Interconnection and was a senior energy reporter at Forbes Magazine.