Episode 6 - Heating up history: The 90s, a missed opportunity for climate change

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Gernot Wagner, Climate Economist, Columbia Business School

During this episode of Xennials, host Charlotte Kan explores the pivotal decade of the 1990s with Gernot Wagner, climate economist at Columbia Business School and a fellow xennial. Together, they explore the release of the first IPCC report that sparked a global wakeup call about the escalating dangers of greenhouse gas emissions and the critical steps needed to curb global warming.

Gernot reflects on the 1989 Los Angeles Times headline that framed global warming as the decade’s hot issue, a prediction that was frighteningly accurate yet insufficiently heeded. We dive into the highs and lows of the 1990s’ climate initiatives, including the ambitious yet ultimately inadequate Kyoto Protocol. Gernot shares his personal evolution from a precocious teen grappling with the economic impacts of environmental policies to a leading expert navigating the complex interplay between economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Recorded March 2024