Decarbonisation goes slowly because emitting carbon is our core business

Some like it hot
  • 42% of all carbon emissions come from stuff that most people in developed countries completely take for granted: heating/cooling ourselves, moving around conveniently and eating decently well and cheaply. Recent events show that only a minority of people are ready to compromise on any of these things.
  • Another 31% of all carbon emissions come from building stuff — and our society loves stuff. Prevent industries from emitting carbon today and, as it stands, no more concrete (It means no construction) and no steel (it means, well, no more anything!).
  • As a comparison, air travel, often portrayed as an easy culprit, is only 7% of global emissions. The first lockdowns in 2020 showed what happens when all air travel stops: not much in the grand scheme of things. Our greenhouse gas addiction is not tied to what we consider to be luxury, it is tied to the most fundamental aspects of our way of life.
  • At the core of the issue is the fact that it seems that there is just not enough renewable energy around to sustain the energy requirements of our lifestyle — or at least not without massive tradeoffs — for instance a massive multi-decade push into nuclear power. And digitalisation only partially helps as Netflix or Bitcoin are hugely energy demanding.
Buying some time (or at least trying)
  • Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR): cleaning the stock of carbon in the atmosphere to bring it back to pre-industrial levels (See picture above, an installation from Climeworks, a Direct-Air-Capture company),
  • Adaptation: learning how to live with a fast changing climate and increasing amount of extreme climatic events
  • Solar engineering: tampering with the albedo of the earth to decrease how much sunlight makes it to the atmosphere.

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Scale-up CEO. Looking at climate-related companies. Ex-CEO @Skimlinks (Acq. in May 2020), Board member at VC-backed companies, investor. Aspiring pianist.

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Sebastien Blanc

Sebastien Blanc

Scale-up CEO. Looking at climate-related companies. Ex-CEO @Skimlinks (Acq. in May 2020), Board member at VC-backed companies, investor. Aspiring pianist.

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