Podcasts

Hear in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia, and civil society.

Podcast
The Big Switch

Clearing the Air: Transforming Aviation

Aviation is a notoriously difficult sector to decarbonize. So as Melissa plans a family trip, she wrestles with her options. Which flights emit the least carbon? How well do offsets work? Should we even be flying at all?

Melissa and colleague Kirsten Smith task producer Daniel Woldorff with calling up airlines to look for answers. 

Engineer Alejandra Uranga imagines airplanes in a net-zero future. Melissa and Alejandra cover electric planes, sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen and more.

Guests: Alejandra Uranga is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at USC. Kirsten Smith is a Research Associate at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Daniel Woldorff is a producer for The Big Switch.

The Big Switch is produced by Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with Post Script Media. This episode was produced by Daniel Woldorff and Alexandria Herr. Theme music and mixing by Sean Marquand. A special thanks to Natalie Volk, Kirsten Smith and Kyu Lee. Our executive editor was Stephen Lacey.

More Episodes

Publications

Relevant Studies

December 05, 2022 Reports Oil

Forecasts of Electric Vehicle Penetration and its Impact on Global Oil Demand

The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of global oil demand, with passenger vehicles and trucks making up by far the largest fraction.

Explore topic

Oil

Oil is the world’s most actively traded commodity, but forecasts vary as to whether it will start to wane in the decades to come. Understanding the changes that are sweeping through the oil industry and market today are key to understanding the outlook for economic growth, climate change, and geopolitical conflict.

October 11, 2022 Reports Energy Markets

Electrification on the Path to Net Zero: A Comparison of Studies Examining Opportunities and Barriers in the United States

There is a strong and growing consensus that a simultaneously growing and decarbonizing electricity sector is necessary to meet declining greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Explore topic

Energy Markets

Well-functioning energy markets are critical to the distribution of energy resources. Understanding how they work, how they can be improved, and how they are being impacted by the changes afoot in the energy sector is key to meeting energy and environmental goals.

September 19, 2022 Commentary Transportation

Biofuels for Transport: Feasibility of a Ramp-Up to Lessen Dependence on Russian Oil En Route to a Decarbonized Future

A new pressure point has been added to Europe’s existing climate mitigation imperative to decarbonize: an energy security driver to ensure that those cuts start with fossil fuel imports from Russia.

Explore topic

Transportation

Transportation has the highest reliance on fossil fuels of any sector and accounted for 37% of global CO2 emissions in 2021. All strategies in transitioning our energy systems must look closely at how to decarbonize transportation sector.

August 30, 2022 Commentary Energy Security

Can North America Transform from a Conventional Automaking Hub to an EV Powerhouse?

This commentary represents the research and views of the author. It does not necessarily represent...

Explore topic

Energy Security

Energy security has long been a central objective of energy policy, yet remains poorly understood and defined. Assessing energy security risks, and how they are evolving, is key for both the public and private sector.

See All Work

Contact