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Critical Minerals

Latest ‘Big Switch’ Podcast Series Explores Global Impact of Batteries

“The Big Switch,” a podcast hosted by Dr. Melissa Lott, is thrilled to announce its latest series which dives deep into the dynamics surrounding the production, distribution, and impact of lithium-ion batteries. Titled “The Great Battery Boom,” this five-episode season not only looks inside how batteries are made, but also the complexities behind the electrification revolution shaping our world today.

Last year, “The Big Switch” looked at the effects the European energy crisis was having on the global energy transition. The season gained praise and ranked among Apple Podcasts best performing shows featuring at number four on the education charts and top 50 in the overall Apple Podcast charts. This installment marks the fourth season the show has aired. 

“We’re excited to bring our audience an exploration of the pivotal role that batteries play in the energy transition and the complexities of bringing energy storage – and all of the different technologies needed to solve climate change – to the world, ” said Dr. Lott, a professor of professional practice at the Columbia Climate School. “From the mining of raw materials to the complexities of supply chains, geopolitics, factory production, community and environmental impacts, and technological advances, I hope this series will help to demystify what is needed ‘behind the scenes’ to accelerate the energy transition to net zero.”

This season features voices from across different sectors including policymakers, journalists, scholars, industry experts, and NGO activists. 

Key questions explored throughout the series include:

  • Batteries are a key part of the clean energy economy. Will they shape geopolitics in similar ways to oil? 
  • We need to increase critical mineral production fast to electrify our world and bring down emissions. Can we do it without harming local communities and the environment? 
  • Turning raw materials into usable ingredients is a critical step in the battery industry. How do we process them in a responsible way?
  • Countries around the globe are racing to meet the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries. What countries and communities will realize the opportunities of the energy transition? What will China’s role be? ?
  • Why reaching circularity in the battery supply chain means rearranging our collective priorities and systems.

For more information and updates, visit “The Big Switch” website and listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

About “The Big Switch” Podcast

To slow climate change, we need to transform our homes, buildings, cars, and economy quickly. “The Big Switch” is a show that explains how we can rebuild the energy systems all around us. Dr. Melissa Lott, Professor of Practice at Columbia’s Climate School, brings together historical examples, current events, and incisive analysis to give listeners a deep understanding of the solutions to climate change.

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