This is a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. Rising global emissions are fueling the need for mitigation, but there are a lot of open questions around how to do that.

Net-zero emissions by 2050 has emerged as the target that the world must hit in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Policymakers and activists in the U.S. are working to put the net-zero goal into law, and multiple major companies have already pledged to achieve carbon-neutrality. But what will it really take to reach zero?

That’s the question Political Climate will explore in the coming months in a new podcast series called “Path to Zero,” presented in partnership with Third Way. This series will look at how people are being affected by the transition to cleaner energy resources, and the economic challenges and opportunities created in the process. It will examine the technologies and policies we need to drive down carbon emissions, and the politics influencing this activity.

In this first episode of the series we speak to Josh Freed, senior vice president of Third Way's climate and energy program, about why we’re focusing on net-zero emissions to begin with. Then we look at the climate science underpinning this goal in an interview with scientist and climate strategist Jane Long, former associate director for energy and environment at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Recommended reading:

  • The Hill: Democrats Outline Sweeping Legislation to Make U.S. Carbon-Neutral by 2050
  • GTM: Spanish Oil Giant Repsol Sets Net-Zero Emissions Target for 2050
  • Climate Home: Net Zero: The Story of the Target That Will Shape Our Future
  • Third Way: Zero by 2050: Understanding the Challenge Before Us

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. “Path to Zero” episodes will air monthly on the Political Climate podcast feed after the first two episodes air in January. Look out next week for an interview with former energy secretary Steven Chu about the technologies needed to achieve carbon neutrality.

Listen and subscribe to the Political Climate podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google PlayOvercast or wherever you get podcasts.