By Katie Mehnert, CEO, Allied energy
The United States is facing a catch-22 on energy and climate. And it’s no exaggeration to say that the consequences could be fatal.
States need to decarbonise to limit the deadly effects of climate change. But climate change has already made the weather more dangerous, which requires energy – much of it currently still comes from carbon-based fossil fuels.
The result is mixed signals. On the one hand there is Calls by the International Energy Agency to stop new oil investments to meet net-zero targets. On the other hand, the International Energy Forum (which includes oil leaders from 71 nations) and the Boston Consulting Group warn that greater investments in oil and gas are needed required due to insufficient international deliveries. The oil shortage could make climate change worse, in part because governments would likely increase domestic oil production to make up for it, they said.
Much of the west is now heading into summer with too little electricity, Bloomberg Reports. “States that shut down coal and gas-fired power plants are simply not replacing them quickly enough to keep up with the whims of an unstable climate, and the region’s existing electricity infrastructure is woefully vulnerable to forest fires (which threaten transmission lines), drought (which consumes once abundant hydropower resources) and heat waves (which are devastating demand).
A recent study found that the likelihood of heat-related power outages in major American cities has increased by 60% since 2015, threatening what the lead author Calls “The deadliest climate-related event we can imagine.” Minority communities are disproportionately affected and most at risk.
There is a solution for all of this. The key is to bring all parts of the energy sector together with government leaders to develop ways to balance energy needs with the need for decarbonization. If done right, investing in oil and gas need not mean abandoning climate goals.
Clean energy increases profits
Despite stereotypes, the leading oil and gas companies support the move to diversify their fossil portfolios. Your companies are among the greatest investors in renewable energies. A survey by EY found that oil managers are decarbonising for one of the most important factors on the business growth of their companies.
Investing in these companies can not only aim to advance green technologies, but also to develop safer, more efficient ways to offer lower-carbon solutions in the meantime as the world moves away from fossil fuels.
Energy companies are relying more and more IT G (Environmental, social and government issues). Investors are helping to drive the industry in a more positive direction. And that includes one of the most important steps the industry must take: developing and retraining new workers.
Diversity creates solutions
In order to facilitate the transition to a clean energy age and at the same time provide the necessary energy, energy companies must retrain their workforce and attract new employees. You need more diversity, with people of different origins who offer ideas and innovations. For far too long, energy companies have failed to reach young people, people of color and other underrepresented populations. Some of the hottest talent have brought their innovations to Silicon Valley instead.
Imagine if the same creativity and the same technical know-how were converted into energy. Who knows what dramatic changes and discoveries could “disrupt” our existing energy systems and change them for the better?
It takes investment to reach people across the country and educate them about job opportunities in the energy sector. Traditional companies with the greatest financial resources can take on a pioneering role by founding them dare weapons to invest in new technologywhich creates more opportunities for people who are passionate about technology. Ultimately, the hearts and minds of employees are the most important natural resource available to the industry for a new energy future.
What Texans Know
I was among the many in Houston who lost my home and business to Hurricane Harvey, the Experts Link to climate change. Much of Texas has also lost power last february when the energy infrastructure failed. While the state reported 151 deaths, a buzzfeed was raised review found that the toll was probably many times higher. And already now, energy leaders are calling on Texans to border our energy consumption when temperatures rise in summer.
After a career as a manager at two oil giants, I left my own company, a platform for cooperation across all forms of energy with the aim of attracting a diverse workforce and them for the $ 50 trillion Transition before us.
As I said in one recently Meeting with Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm, the energy sector has been fragmented for far too long. It’s time to get together. The need is clear and the possibilities – also financially – are enormous.
–Katie Mehnert is CEO of Allied energy, a member of the Greentown incubator “Climatetech”. She is an ambassador for the US Department of Energy’s Equity-in-Energy initiative and the author of Grow with the flow.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.