101. A Fund for the Earth with Andrew Steer
This week, the Nature Agenda. A forest the size of France has regrown since 2000 and The Biden administration introduced its “America the Beautiful” plan. In it, they plan to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030, calling it the country’s first-ever national conservation goal. Long overdue, but on the table.
Speaking of nature, later in the episode we discuss the role philanthropy can play in accelerating innovative actions and radical collaboration across movements to meet the impact of the climate crisis with the requisite attention. ‘A Fund for the Earth’ as it were.
We invite Dr. Andrew Steer, formerly President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, and as of April 2021, the CEO and President of the Bezos Earth Fund, to talk us through the opportunities and challenges ahead for philanthropy as we begin to make the systemic transition to a green economy. We ask how he will be looking to spend his whopping $10 Billion (with a B) budget to secure the SDGs by 2030 and create the biggest impact to accelerate various sectors towards their positive tipping points.
And an absolute smash this week in music from Marie Spaemann. Listen in!
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:00:35] Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism, I’m Tom Rivett-Carnac.
Christiana Figueres: I’m Christiana Figueres.
Paul Dickinson: And I’m Paul Dickinson.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:00:44] This week, we talk about the nature agenda and how we cannot deal with the climate crisis without also addressing nature. We speak to Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, and we have music from Marie Spaemann. Thanks for being here.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: OK. One hundred and one episodes, this is it, we’re entering the new era of Outrage + Optimism. I don’t know if it feels particularly different, but here we go. How are you guys?
Christiana Figueres: [00:01:20] Well, I was going to say how wonderful it is that we used to get this barrage of news from the United States and I always felt like I had to reach out for my protective umbrella because the news was always so, so bad. And now it seems we’re going almost to the other side. Now we have news from the Biden administration almost every day, and it’s all very dramatic. So goodbye, umbrellas, out comes the sun shining. How absolutely refreshing it is. And to this week’s news, among other things, is the release of America the Beautiful Plan.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: They know how to name their legislative bills I have to say.
Christiana Figueres: Very patriotic.
Paul Dickinson: You’d look like an idiot voting against that!
Tom Rivett-Carnac: Working Jobs Plan or the American Rescue Plan.
Paul Dickinson: [00:02:25] American motherhood and apple pie.
Christiana Figueres: I think they all have to sing it before they even vote on it.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: I’m waiting for the big family plan.
Christiana Figueres: [00:02:34] Yes, but it is the U.S. commitment, should it pass to conserve 30 percent of the U.S. both land and water by 2030. And of course, it is very exciting because what it’s meant to do is to come right under the broader global efforts of conserving or protecting what we call 30 by 30, which is the United Nations, basically the Paris climate agreement version for nature. It is under the biodiversity convention and hopefully it will take place the convention this year. But what it establishes, the aspiration that the convention is hoping all parties and member states will agree to, is to safeguard 30 percent of our planet’s surface, including both land and sea, safeguard that with at least 10 percent put under strict protection and combating the spread and introduction of invasive species. And that is actually very exciting. Now, having said that, it is definitely a challenge that is out there for all of us. First, logistically, because the convention itself, the COP15 of that convention, was supposed to take place last year, as we all know, and it now has been postponed again. It’s now currently scheduled for 11 to 24 of October, in Yunnan province, China. But aside from logistics having to do with COVID, it actually is going to be an uphill battle to get all countries to commit to this 30 by 30. Now, the fact is that people who don’t think that commitments matter will immediately criticize and say, oh, you know, too many commitments, you already had 2020 goals.
Christiana Figueres: [00:04:48] Those weren’t achieved. Now you’re putting out 2030 goals. All countries ever do is put out goals. It’s actually a very justifiable criticism. And it doesn’t mean that we cannot again, come together to take on a global goal that there needs to be interpreted and executed at national levels because the fact is we’re in such a dire strait. The U.N. has put out a report that we are about to lose about a million species counting both land and marine from our human activity, that we know what that is and that the rate of extinction that we have of species is hundreds of times higher than it has been over the past 10 million years. And that is the report that has been put out by five hundred scientists. So, you know, we continue to talk about climate change on this podcast, but we have to remind ourselves that is not climate change as a silo. It’s actually all these interlinked challenges that are all either mutually deleterious or mutually improving each other and helping each other to move toward these goals. So a huge challenge. Good on the United States. Of course, it comes a little bit after Costa Rica made exactly the same commitment.
Paul Dickinson: A little bit larger though, in total land area? I mean, I don’t know.
Christiana Figueres: No, not at all.
Paul Dickinson: [00:06:35] The United States, we call it the big country that could. Isn’t that what the United States or is that what they call Costa Rica? I can’t remember.
Christiana Figueres: Now, it is the country that can. But yes, absolutely important that everyone knows that we are now under 30 by 30 effort for biodiversity and conservation and that that includes both land and ocean.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: Ok, I’ve got a question for you, Christiana. But, Paul, I know you want to come in on this.
Paul Dickinson: [00:07:01] No, no, no. You have your question because I’ve got quite a long speech building up inside me. It’s going to go on for a while. So get your stuff out of the way.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: Make a cup of tea. Now’s a good moment.
Paul Dickinson: Whilst you’re talking to come back, get comfy for my speech.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:07:14] My question is: Is Kunming going to work like Paris? Because in Paris, every country brought their commitment of what they could do. Is this now that the US has passed this, do they bring this to Kunming as their national commitment under the biological convention, or is that not how this deal is going to work? Is it going to work in a different way?
Christiana Figueres: That’s a very good question, my understanding, and of course, I’ve never really delved into the biodiversity convention. My understanding is that currently what everyone is trying to do is to get every country to commit to this 30 by 30, but not that it’s going to be inscribed anywhere like the Paris agreement was, but rather that if you have a critical number of countries that have been willing to commit to 30 by 30 for their national area and surface, then they would give their political support for the global.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: Got it. OK, Paul the floor is yours.
Paul Dickinson: [00:08:15] Well, thank you. Thank you very much indeed, Tom. Thank you, Christiana. You know, I’m so glad you’re here this evening because I wanted to point out about what a conservative group said in the US or some conservative group said about this 30 by 30, that is to say, giving over 30 percent of the land to nature and 30 percent of the sea to nature. And actually, they said it was a land grab.
Christiana Figueres: What do you mean giving over?
Paul Dickinson: Well, I just thought about the land grab, I kept thinking about that.
Christiana Figueres: We have taken over in politics.
Paul Dickinson: [00:08:43] It’s the exact reverse of a land grab. It is the total opposite. There is nothing less land grabby about it than not grabbing. It’s the un-grab. But anyway, so the point I wanted to make was really about actually Kim Stanley Robinson in his book The Ministry of the Future. That was that idea that half, 50 percent, would be given over to nature, I think by 2050 or whatever it was, 2060, but 30 by 30 makes an enormous amount of sense. Now, look, why does it matter that we have these big areas set over to nature? We’re going to interview Andrew Steer, a short leap from the Bezos Earth Fund. Both Bezos and Musk, the two multibillionaires the two richest people in the whole world, want to go to Mars. But did you know that Gaia theory that came from James Lovelock was based on him looking for life on Mars? He was paid by NASA, I think, to look for life on Mars. And he discovered that all the chemical reactions on Mars had stopped. And then suddenly he noticed all the chemical reactions on Earth were incredibly fluid and rich and strong and diverse. And he realized it was the rich biology that we had, all these different organisms interacting that actually keep our planet habitable. So it’s not like we’re turning over 30 percent of the land and 30 percent of the sea for some sort of abstract concept. It is for our own survival.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: Paul, I waited until you’d finished speaking to make the suggestion we should ask James Lovelock on the podcast this time. What do you think?
Paul Dickinson: Right, Absolutely.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: I know how you like it when I schedule the fly. Excellent. OK, I have something to bring, but go ahead.
Paul Dickinson: You go ahead.
Christiana Figueres: [00:10:18] I have something that relates to this. Can I come in with a second? Related to Paul’s comment, now, I just wanted to share with listeners that we have an amazing documentary coming via Netflix, it is entitled Breaking Boundaries. It is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and our good friend Johan Rockstrom, both of whom we’ve had on this podcast. It is really just breath-taking what they have done with very, very difficult to explain science, how they have visualized the understanding that we now have, that we as humans have pushed the earth beyond the boundaries that have kept the planet stable for ten thousand years. As Paul was saying, those are the ten thousand years that were the Holocene period. We’ve discussed this and it was basically the sweet spot of the planet that allowed for civilization as we know it today to prosper. And we have totally pushed beyond those boundaries. The director and producer is John Clay, who was here in Costa Rica just a few weeks ago, and who says that when he started on the journey of making this film about 18 months ago, he set himself what he calls a ridiculously ambitious goal to make the most important documentary ever made. And if you watch this, you will agree with John. Very exciting. The first trailer has already been released, so you can check it out on Netflix.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: And it’s amazing.
Christiana Figueres: [00:12:19] We will definitely put it in the show notes, it’s Breaking Boundaries. The trailer is available already on Netflix and the full movie that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a peek at. The full movie will be live on Netflix on June 4th. But do take a look at the trailer. And here’s an interesting suggestion. Invite someone decidedly younger than yourself to view it with you because it is about them and it is about our responsibility about what we’re going to do with their lives. Invite someone, Tom. You have to watch it with your kids, Paul. You have to find nephews, nieces, other young people to view it with you and watch their reactions when they understand what we’re doing or rather what we’re not doing. Now, of course, David Attenborough, Johan Rockstrom and other scientists that are in the film. Of course, they give it to us squarely. Right between the eyebrows, what it is that we have done. That’s the outrage part. They also come forward with the optimism part and say, here’s what we could do if we do it by 2030. So a very important film and one that honestly you will not forget.
Paul Dickinson: Wow, that is quite an endorsement, Christiana, thank you. I’m going to the TV the second I switch off this recording equipment.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: I don’t think it’s available yet, actually. Is that correct, Christiana?
Paul Dickinson: The trailer over and over again and infer.
Christiana Figueres: The full movie on June 4th.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:13:58] Yeah, although you have seen it. Very interesting. Fantastic. Johan of course, if you remember the episode when he came on here, just amazing. And how clearly and unambiguously he delivered that message, but with such compassion and clarity. And David, of course, known to all the listeners. Great. That’s going to be amazing. Now, just very quickly I know we need to go to the conversation with Andrew, which is remarkable. And we want to make sure we give it due time both for the conversation and for some chat afterwards. But there was something I wanted to bring that caught my attention this week.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:15:13] It’s sort of both a reason for outrage and optimism. And it’s one of those things that I read. And the title of it was this news article, an area of forest the size of France has regrown worldwide since 2000. Now, that’s amazing, right? This is a project undertaken by the Trillion Trees Project, found that 59 million hectares of forest have grown back worldwide since 2000. This could absorb five point nine billion tons of carbon dioxide, roughly the emissions of the U.S. Now, if you look where these are around the world, four point two million hectares in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one point two million hectares in Mongolia’s boreal forest. You know, significant regrowth in Canada and Central Africa, really hopeful. And I think what it shows is actually that we can do it right when we put our mind to it in certain areas, we can regenerate the planet. This regenerated reforested world that we want to create is entirely possible. We can bring these places back to life. We can bring back the biodiversity. Now, the reason for outrage, of course, is that while that has shown that we can do this and we’ve regrown fifty nine million hectares of forest, we are still cutting down 26 million every year. So it only takes two years to cut down as much as regrew in 20 years. So this net-net is not a good story. But I think what it shows is actually that when we want to regenerate land, we can do it. We need to focus on that and we need to make sure that we address this deforestation issue, because at the moment it looks like a drop in the ocean, the reforestation we’re doing, if we don’t also stop destroying the intact nature, that we still have.
Paul Dickinson: Scary stuff. So we’re going to interview Andrew Steer now. And the new fund that he’s leading is based on climate justice because it disproportionately affects poor and marginalized people. And what do I mean by that? We’ve been talking about this disruption of climate change. The report from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN stated last month that annual occurrences of disasters are now more than three times that of the level in the 70s, 1970s and 1980s, hitting the poorest countries hardest. So it’s a very, very live issue. And let’s see what we can do about it.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:16:50] Great, fantastic introduction. So this week we have an astonishing interview for you. We just talked to Andrew Steer just the other day and he will be known to many listeners. He’s had a long and distinguished career in the climate change base. Most recently, he was President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, a job he took up in 2012. Under his leadership, the WRI increased very significantly in terms of staff and budget. And, of course, much more importantly, the impact. Prior to that, he’d been at the World Bank and then before that he had a career in government where he was a director general of the U.K. Department of International Development. Now, right now, he is the first president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. And everybody who is associated with climate change will know that last year, Jeff Bezos came out and announced that he was going to spend 10 billion dollars on the climate and nature between now and 2030. Now, that makes Andrew Steer responsible for the largest philanthropic budget by orders of magnitude. What he does next, how that money is allocated, the decisions he makes about how to best spend that to accelerate action on climate change, to ensure climate justice and to deal with the nature crisis that we’ve just been talking about will make an enormous difference to our collective efforts in the coming years. So there couldn’t really be anyone more important, and I think you have heard previously on this podcast, we are really excited about his appointment. He is a brilliant human being with incredible ideas and huge energy and huge creativity. You’re going to love this interview. Here is Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund.
Christiana Figueres: [00:18:33] Andrew, what a delight to have you on Outrage + Optimism when you’re just barely two weeks into your new mission. Tom was reminding us that the week that we learned that you have taken this new mission, that that was the reason for optimism of our episode.
Paul Dickinson: We had a whole thing that you are the reason for optimism.
Christiana Figueres: [00:19:04] There you are. But, Andrew, we actually want to know why did you take on this incredible mission? Because I was on the WRI board. You were there for nine years. You increased the staff five fold, you quadrupled the budget. You opened new international offices. You were beloved by the board. You were absolutely venerated by the staff and then you up and leave. That’s what we want to know. Your inbox must be absolutely exploding. You have an infinite number of new best friends who are crawling out of the woodwork. But you are not taking any unsolicited proposals in the birth of in the Bezos Earth Fund. You are committed to getting the world to a path of one point five degrees. But you also know that climate justice is at the heart of that, because if we don’t have one point five degrees with justice, we just simply will not make one point five degrees stick. You definitely know that we’re into the decisive decade. We have spoken about that for a long time. And you have 10 billion to play with, which sounds like a lot because that’s not what climate philanthropy has had in the past. But actually for the shift that we need over the next nine years, by 2030, it’s very little. And the fact is that we have 70 trillion in private finance that has been committed to decarbonisation. And you haven’t even changed cities. You’re going to stay in Washington, D.C. So why on earth did you take on this new mission?
Andrew Steer: [00:20:56] Well, look, first, thank you, Christiana. It is a treat to be here on Outrage + Optimism. I sit at the edge of my seat each week waiting for the next episode, and I would urge anybody listening to make absolutely sure that you get their little updates so, you know, when you can get there, because you cannot go to a serious climate change cocktail party unless you’ve listened to the most recent episode. These guys are funny and very insightful. And so it’s a great honor to be with you. It honestly is actually, all three of you are giants in the field. So why did I move? Well, I guess that when an organization is firing on all cylinders, achieving what the World Resources Institute is achieving it’s probably a good time to leave. We had a fantastic depth of senior management there. And quite frankly, sometimes when a CEO leaves the share price falls. But in this case, I think there was a general recognition that, my goodness me, we’ve had a fantastic run for eight and a half years and how exciting it is that we can now move to a new phase in this decisive decade. So I left with a great sense of grief. These are wonderful, wonderful people.
Andrew Steer: The World Resources Institute had been a beneficiary of the first round of the Bezos Earth Fund. And so we really got to know and love the emerging Bezos Earth Fund. And so when Jeff Bezos kindly suggested I might join and it was a difficult decision, but it was the right decision. When a wealthy person chooses to put 10 billion dollars of their own money to be spent in this decisive decade. And when that person is someone who has demonstrated to grow a company and knows a thing or two about how to manage and how to make decisions, how to get change, you know, there’s something serious going on here. You know, that this is a topic that matters. It matters to the business community, just as it matters to communities all around the world, including, as you rightly said, a Christiana areas of color, areas of disadvantage who have suffered much too much. And so, look, it’s a wonderful opportunity. In last week’s podcast, you talked about the need for more finance. 10 billion dollars is not enough to solve the problem as you say, but catalytically well-placed you can get all kinds of multiples out of that. And that is really our intention as to what we plan to do.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:23:42] And I love that, by the way, that Christiana started this interview by telling you that your budget wasn’t big enough when everyone in the world realizes that you’ve just taken on this role and that absolutely it’s like everything in climate change. It’s remarkable and transformative and not yet enough. Right. And so the strategy behind how that spending is going to be critical. I’m curious to know just to dig a bit deeper into your journey here. I mean, one way of looking at it is you’ve gone from sell side to buy side, right. In financial terms. And now WRI you grew the budget, some of that was philanthropy. You thought strategically about how you run the organization, raise money. Now you’ve got the mirror role of identifying how do you pick those organizations that can be catalytic and strategic and invest in them and take them to scale. What are the different skill sets and challenges of going from effectively sell side to buy side in the climate movement?
Christiana Figueres: Tom can I just ask you, because you said now these are organizations. Is that clear? Is the Earth Fund going to invest into organizations that already exist?
Andrew Steer: Well, indeed, we will support organizations that are making a transformative difference, and I think one of the advantages of having worked in such an organization over the last eight and a half years is that I hope that I’ll be able to recognise that when I see it and all of us come to the jobs we’re in, in different parts. I mean, I had a privilege of working for the World Bank for many years. So I’ve seen that side, if you like, engagement with policy makers and so on. I then had the privilege of being director general at the UK Department for International Development, where we certainly were able to provide a large number of grants. And then obviously with the World Resources Institute was able to realize that actually one needs a powerful, transformative narrative if one is to persuade very smart donors to part with their money and give them confidence that that money is going to be well spent. And looking at Paul now, for example. Paul started CDP. That’s a very good example of an organisation that said this is what we do. This is the focus of our work and we’re going to be transformative. And CDP has absolutely been transformative.
Andrew Steer: [00:26:41]Just as Christiana and Tom, what you’ve done. And it’s really important that each organisation, each NGO or any other form of organisation knows what its task is, doesn’t spread itself all over the place that says we are going to be best in class at that and we are going to from soup to nuts, from the ideas, from the research all the way down to the plumbing as to how funds get to the ground and always to do it in a way that is not all about me. It’s not all about flying my flag. It’s about waking up on a Monday morning and saying, what do I want my career, my institution to stand for? And it is to solve the big problems of our age. And in this case, it’s the case of climate change. I should say that the base of the fund is is clearly directed at climate change, but it’s also directed at nature. And, of course, as all of you know very well, the things that we need to do on nature actually are in many instances the same as we need to do on climate change. So it is a climate change and nature fund, recognising that they are absolutely intrinsically linked.
Paul Dickinson: [00:27:22] I mean, you just can’t get away with that to that level of compliment and without getting it back, it was the fantastically collaborative character of the World Resources Institute WRI that allowed of so many NGOs all across the world to be able to collaborate to achieve so much more than they could individually. Now, when you talk about nature and there is a whole debate that’s exploding at the moment because we are on this race to zero, that’s kind of the theme of COP 26, incredibly exciting and also nature based solutions appear to be a very significant part of how we’re going to achieve the goals we have to achieve. And yet there’s also been quite some tension in the climate community about the degree to which there might be a misappropriation of these new kind of nature markets. We have experience of the carbon markets in the past. It would just be great to hear your thoughts about how that’s going to play out.
Andrew Steer: Well, one of the most encouraging things, obviously, is that nature is rising on the political agenda. It’s rising on the climate agenda and clearly leading up to the biodiversity COP it’s rising on that agenda, too. And if all goes according to plan, the world’s nations will agree that 30 percent of land and 30 percent of ocean will be protected. And by the way, if that happens, that would be the most amazing gift to climate change as well. The phrase that I dislike the most is zero carbon. People say we need a zero carbon future. No, we don’t. We need a carbon intensive future. But the carbon needs to be in the right place. It shouldn’t be up there in the sky. It should be down here in trees and bushes and soils and crops. And of course, farmers and those in rural areas, they are the great managers of carbon. And what, of course, the nature based agenda is all about is using carbon well and using it in a way that actually increases yields, brings resilience, brings life, brings beauty, brings economic development, whether through eco tourism or through other means. So you’re dead right Paul, this is an incredibly important issue. I think to the extent that there is any debate here and it’s a very legitimate debate, it relates to carbon offset markets. And there is very legitimately a concern that if you are an oil company and you charge a little bit extra for each litre of gasoline, the risk is that you’ll say, ah, so look, the gasoline is zero carbon.
Andrew Steer: [00:30:07] Why? Because we are using that money to grow trees somewhere else. There are two things we have to worry about. One is that companies would use carbon markets as an excuse not to do what they need to do. And second, that the money would be used in an inappropriate way. And it was great hearing last week’s Outrage + Optimism podcast talking about the new LEAF project, the initiative where the private sector major corporations are committing, together with three countries, three donor countries, to work, then in a whole range of forest company countries to invest in forest protection. And the great thing about that initiative is that it has very strong guardrails on both the demand side. And by demand, we mean the companies that want to invest in other countries in their forests. And it basically says if you want to be part of this partnership, you have to get your own house in order. You have to sign up to science based targets, which are quite rigorous in terms of what you do. And then you will still, for the remaining few years and decades even, you will still have some residual emissions. You need to compensate for that. That’s what your money goes for. And then on the so-called supply side, which is in the forest countries, the suggestion is you sign up to the new high standard, which basically has standards on no leakage on monitoring, on what’s called jurisdictional approaches, which I think you discussed at last week’s event and on the kind of social issues and human rights issues and indigenous peoples issues.
Andrew Steer: So that’s what’s so good about this. But there is one really important point that people really need to grapple with at the moment on carbon markets. As recently as 10 years ago when we were aiming for a two degree world, you remember, and we still had a decade more than we have now to solve the problem. It was legitimate without wanting to get too wonky to think about what’s called a marginal abatement cost curve and what a marginal abatement cost curve essentially says is. Think of the horizontal axis on the left hand side at zero, and as you move along the horizontal axis, essentially each little bit along there means you’re lowering carbon emissions, lowering carbon emissions. So if you want to lower carbon emissions by half, you go halfway along. And then on the vertical axis is how much does it cost to take each tonne out? And on the left hand side is very cheap, is less than zero. So things like energy efficiency, so the curve starts below zero on the left hand side and then rises up.
Andrew Steer: [00:31:26] So way on the top right hand side, you have very expensive things like the old days it was the hydrogen economy or it was carbon capture and storage or things like that. Very expensive 10 years ago. What you could do if you were a steel plant or a cement plant, very legitimately, you could say, well, look, I want to play my role, but quite frankly, we don’t need to reduce my emissions to zero. I’m going to actually pay for somebody else to reduce their emissions to zero. And so that’s what carbon markets were. The problem now is we now have to go to one point five degrees, as you’ve said so many times in your podcast, which means we’ve got to do a lot more than we thought and we’ve lost a decade. So now, instead of going halfway across the horizontal axis, we have to go the whole way. What does that mean? If I’m in charge of a steel plant today, I cannot and must not say, well, I’ll delay my action. I have to say no, I need to act today. I need to invest in technologies that will enable me to to decarbonise fully. And in the meantime, I can legitimately enter into the offset market, if you like, not to offset instead of acting, but to compensate for the residual emissions. This is a really important intellectual shift that’s gone on that not enough people are focusing on.
Christiana Figueres: So I love your your interpretation of not a zero carbon economy that we totally agree with. In fact, we’ve also said on this podcast that addressing climate change is somewhat similar to the real estate market because it’s all about location. Location, location, location. Carbon in the air is an enemy. Carbon in the soil is a friend. And what we want to do is to put that carbon back in the soil where it belongs. And as you point out and to our nature based solutions can really help us to do that. Now, here is the conundrum. That abatement curve that you so well describe is based mostly on mitigation strategies or technologies that have a real cost based on some kind of a business model. And the problem that we have with when they are based solutions is that we don’t have a business model there because economists have actually not valued things like greenhouse gas emissions or or unjust treatment of indigenous populations, because those things are not valued, there’s no valuation attached to it, therefore we have to engage in this nature based solutions almost from a philanthropic point of view. Now, the problem with that, Andrew, is even Jeff Bezos’ Fund will never be enough to cover the cost of that. So where is the fund coming in on this very, very difficult challenge? Are you looking at something like a space for pre investment funding? Will you be helping and encouraging economists to put a value to internalize those values. Because we need we need a real price that has a business model so that we can then increase the investment in nature based solutions, not just for climate, but for biodiversity, frankly, for human life. So how do we square that circle?
Andrew Steer: [00:35:10] Well, first, as a recovering economist, let me say a word of defense on the economic profession, because don’t blame the economists, blame us for not implementing good economics. So in 1923, Professor Pigou at Cambridge University wrote his famous economics and welfare. And since that day, which is ninety eight years ago, since that day, we have known that we ought to price externalities. We’ve known that it is not smart to tax good things like your income and not tax bad things like like congestion or pollution. So and the interesting thing is, if you look at the economics profession, look at who wins Nobel Prizes in economics when it was first awarded, the award was to, oh, how great it is that free markets deliver all these wonderful things. Since thenif you look at the last 20 Nobel Prizes in economics, most of them are about the imperfections in the market and the need to intervene and the need to do things differently. So you’re absolutely right. So actually, just as medicine is improving, just as engineering’s improving, physics we’re learning. Economics is also a dynamic subject. And today, if you go and you study at the best universities in the world, you will have a lot of exactly what you just said of Christiana. So the problem is we tend to blame the economics. Yeah, blame the economics.
Christiana Figueres: No, not the economics. The economists!
Andrew Steer: [00:36:44] I rest my case. So the most important part of the question was how do you if you are a philanthropist, how do you make decisions? And I think this is where I think you guys have helped us think this through a lot. I mean, essentially, this is the decisive decade. And by the way, next decade is, another decisive decade, because the halving this decade is difficult, but the halving next decade is more difficult, especially if we don’t prepare this decade and do the research. So what we have to do is think about the sort of seven big radical transformations in energy, transport, the built environment, food systems, manufacturing consumption and so on. And then within each of those, there are five or six still quite big transformations in transport. We’ve got to get rid of the internal combustion engine. We also need the hydrogen economy for airplanes. We also need to think about radically changing public transport. So in each of the each of these big revolutions, there are some mini (but they’re actually quite maxi) revolutions. For each of those we need to understand where are they on the journey? Some are doing fine. So, for example, wind energy in the United States doesn’t need any help. Quite frankly, some are actually moving.
Andrew Steer: Others at the other end of the spectrum never even started. About half of all of these transformations have serious coalitions of leaders and like minded groups and research and so on. What does this all mean? What we need to do is identify how can we help push these revolutions over a tipping point beyond which it becomes unstoppable and different things will be required in each case. So, for example, it may be basic research. So the Bezos Earth Fund is already supporting serious agricultural research in the Salt Institute in California to persuade the roots of crops to absorb much more carbon. And it’s amazing what they can develop. It could be that best thing for us to do is to look, for example, of monitoring and metrics. So, for example, you had Fred Krupp on last week, the Bezos Earth Fund is supporting EDF launch a satellite which will monitor methane. So, too, we are supporting WRI to do what’s called land on forest watch, which means three years from today, every single 10 meter by 10 meter spot on Earth will not only be able to see trees falling and carbon rising. We’ll be able to see carbon coming down and we’ll be able to see the carbon flux on every single hectare in the world.
Andrew Steer: So that’s something that philanthropy can do on the monitoring side. But there’s other things also. I mean, it could be, for example, making a market. So, for example, the Bezos fund already is supporting the World Wildlife Fund, investing in seaweed. Seaweed. At the moment, there’s a market in Japan. There needs to be a market in the West as well. And so whether it’s in Maine or whether it’s in Norway or whether it’s in Ireland, they’re doing experiments as to what it would take to demonstrate the proof of concept and make the market and then the various other things where you can enter. One area, by the way, is. Of making the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle add up. You know, there are no silver bullets, as you’ve made the point many times, every problem really requires different players to play that role. And sometimes there is a role for philanthropy to come in and make the pieces add up, if you like. I mean, so, for example, it could be on the hard to abate sectors. How do you get the manufacturers? How do you get the users? How do you get the the airlines to work with the oil companies, to work with the researchers and so on? I’ll give you one example, actually, that we worked on in WRI, which the Bezos Earth Fund is supporting.
Andrew Steer: [00:40:02] It is electrifying all of the school buses in the United States. There are 480000 school buses in the United States. None of them basically are electric, 97 percent, as you know, of all the electric buses in the world are in China today. So what’s the role of an NGO? Given the actually electrifying 480000 buses will be quite expensive. It is making the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle add up. So, for example, there are, as you know, 3300 counties in the United States. Education is a county based thing. There are there are actually 10000 school districts in the United States. So what’s our job is to work with the manufacturers. It’s to work with the school districts, is to work with the politicians, helping them draft legislation, which we hope will go through the Congress in June to put funding into this. And here’s an interesting point. It is to work with utilities. Why? Because obviously electric buses need to take electricity. But equally important, if you have electric buses, they become a giant battery that enables you to store electricity. And it turns out that school buses, which are not used very much in the summer here, actually are worth between five and ten thousand dollars per year to a utility for storing electricity.
Andrew Steer: [00:41:38] You use it during a time when it’s not needed. So the jigsaw puzzle is getting all these actors together and saying, hey, we’ve put some interesting financial structures here as well. And how interesting it is linked again to what Christiana said on social justice. The average air in a school bus in the United States, remember, they’re all diesel is like three or four times less healthy than in the average house. In poor areas and areas of color, it is seven times worse. Why? Because education is a county based thing. So counties raise money through real estate taxes. They can’t afford to have newer models. They can’t afford to keep their engines tuned well enough. So this has so many sort of elements. And then on the positive side, sort of what’s going on here? Well, not only the direct benefits of not emitting all this, but the health benefits, and then we’re linking it to school curriculum development. So you got a new generation of kids going to school, especially in disadvantaged areas, and actually learning about electrification, going home and you get that kind of intergenerational thing. So that’s the role of philanthropy. It’s sort of engaging in a lively way like that.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:43:21] Andrew, that’s so fascinating. Thank you for setting that out. I mean, the role of sort of the whole ecosystem and all of the different players and and we’ve seen all of us, you know, how disparate that can be. And your vision of how philanthropy can come in and pull the various different pieces together is really fantastic. So to just talk about process for a moment. How do you do that? Because money plays a role in that. You have to play a curational role. You have to have an eye both on the outcome from an emissions perspective as well as the social justice, peace. How curatorial do you get as a philanthropist to kind of come in and organize the world towards those outcomes versus seeing what’s there and sort of allowing it to come together? There’s a dance there, isn’t there?
Andrew Steer: That is the crucial question, Tom. It’s absolutely right that what you what you do not want to do is say, my goodness me, we have this huge fund. So, you know, we’ll take over from here. Not at all. No, on the contrary. Out there there are incredible ideas and brilliant organizations and it’s identifying which ones really are going to make the biggest difference and what particular chunk of the piece of the jigsaw puzzle will make the biggest difference. Now, having said that, there are cases in which, and there may be quite a few of them, where whilst we would never have a top down kind of approach, we would maybe say, look, there’s several of you doing roughly the same things. How about all getting together? How about we put some money on the table and maybe we could then persuade maybe some governments, maybe some other philanthropists to come in, maybe some of the multilateral development banks could come in as well. And then we will do the pre competitive part, if you like, and we will guarantee that you’ll all be part of it. Only if we work together and we have common metrics. If we have a common approach. Why? Because what is it that causes the real tipping points, the positive tipping points? It’s when you get groups of leaders who are talking to each other that sort of well, actually, she’s done that.
Andrew Steer: I wouldn’t mind a piece of that. You know, and if you look at some of the great revolutions that have taken place, that’s exactly how they’ve happened. And it’s not happening enough in our space of every NGO does their own thing and brands that according to their own thing, it’s good, but it doesn’t necessarily move the needle. And it’s one of the great paradoxes of development projects in general. It is possible and I tell you, a good example of this is the global environment facility. You know, three thousand projects, 80 percent of them successful, but they haven’t managed yet. They’re starting now to move the needle. It is possible to have successful projects that are good in and of themselves. But we don’t have time to just have successful projects. We’ve got to move the whole thing. And and I do think that philanthropy can play a helpful but must never be arrogant. I mean, we never come in and say that we know more than these organizations that have been working for decades doing their very best.
Christiana Figueres: [00:46:00] That collaborative thinking and acting, Andrew, is it really is the the biggest paradigm shift? Right. And when you think about the two exponential curves that are competing against each other, one exponential curve of destruction because we see that out there are caused by climate change and the other exponential curve of disruptive positive action. And these two are exponential and are competing. And we have to make sure that it’s actually the positive, disruptive, transformational curve that is going to win. But the only way to put that curve on steroids is to do it through collaborative thinking and acting. And somehow it’s both easy and difficult. It’s easy because there, frankly, is very little standing in the way other than the way that we think about how we act and how we act with each other. So it’s very much of a mental paradigm shift that can then move whatever is getting in the way structurally. But that has to occur first mentally. I don’t know if you agree with that or do you think that there really are invincible structural barriers to that?
Andrew Steer: [00:47:28] No, I think I think you’re absolutely right, Christiana. I do think that sometimes the funding imperatives that some NGOs have make it necessary to to fly a flag slightly higher than it would need to be. But that’s not a strike. That’s something that can be overcome. And you put it extremely well I think, you know, it’s worth asking the question, how is it possible to meet two experts and one says, it’s fantastic what we’re doing. We’re achieving so much. The prices of renewables have come down. We’re doing this. We’ve got 60 percent of financial assets now committed to net zero is wonderful. And then you talk to the next person and they say, we’re going off a cliff. It’s a disaster, you know, so which is right? And of course, the answer is they’re both right. And the image which I find helpful is is is a dog chasing a bus. And we’re the good guys with a dog and we’re running faster and faster. And we’re so proud of ourselves because we never run this fast. I mean, we are moving forward. The problem is the bus is accelerating away. And it’s the problem exactly as you say, the exponential. So what’s the message of the story? The message is. Don’t run faster because you’ll never catch up, get yourself an electric scooter. Change the way you do business, then you’ll catch up.
Paul Dickinson: Dog on an electric scooter. It’s got on the bus. No, I’m with you, so. Well, then let me say one question about how to make a dog go faster than the bus. All right. Now, look at WRI you were looking at interconnecting challenges, food, forests, water, energy, cities, climates, oceans and greater emphasis on the kind of economics of equity. In the growing notions of exclusivity and so understanding of cultures, as being part of shifting as I guess from acting as individuals, like people and nations to something collective. Is the golden dream that we form a movement that is able to act in a much more integrated way. Do you have a sense of how that might how that might flourish?
Andrew Steer: [00:49:42] Well, I do. Well, number one, I totally agree with the issue, Paul, and one of the really encouraging things, I think, is the rise of the social justice, environmental justice, climate justice movement. I mean, I think it is incredibly positive. I think, you know, those of us that are in the environmental movement, we do need to look at ourselves in the mirror and say and acknowledge that that in history we have not paid enough attention to these issues. And indeed, in certain times past, the environmental movement has been, you know, protect the green, but keep the people away from it sort of thing. Now, that’s long gone in most instances, but there’s still a lot of remedial work that needs to be done. And the Bezos Earth Fund, by the way, in the first round of grants that Jeff Bezos made quite exciting in terms of supporting climate justice groups. And I’ve met them all in the last two weeks and truly inspiring, quite honestly. And I mean, these represent areas, whether it’s indigenous people like the Indian Collective, for example, remarkable here in the United States or whether it’s areas of color or disadvantaged. I mean, really, we tend to forget just how much worse environmental conditions are in those places.
Andrew Steer: So there’s a huge task to do. And one of the most exciting things I mean, last week’s episode of your podcast was was obviously on the US pledge. I mean, one of the most exciting things is that President Biden has said that 40 percent of public investments are going to in modern technology and green finance are going to support disadvantaged areas that can’t be done without really empowering those who are in the communities. And so one of the things we’re sort of already talking to, you know, people in the White House and in DOE that are really motivated to do the right thing, is, is there a way that we could work to support some of the climate justice people movements to engage in this so that we can move public investment? Because it sounds easy, doesn’t it? Like, well, surely the most powerful government in the world could allocate money whenever it wants? Well, actually, no, it’s not really set up to do that. And so again, one needs the different players to play their role. So I don’t think that answers your question, Paul, but I do think we’re on a pretty important journey here.
Paul Dickinson: No it does, thank you.
Christiana Figueres: [00:52:10] So, Andrew, because you’ve listened to at least a few episodes of this podcast, you know how we close out our interviews, so we have to ask you the same question. So assuming that Outrage + Optimism are along a continuum, we would love to know, are you outraged that the bus keeps on accelerating or are you optimistic that the electric scooter is more or less with the bus?
Andrew Steer: Well, I guess it depends whether it’s before listening to your podcast. But look, I am hugely optimistic about this decade. I mean, one of the one of the great things about leadership, the PhD dissertations will be written on, I hope, is why is it that two years ago when the IPCC came out with this report and said, by the way, we were wrong it’s one point five degrees, it’s much more difficult, a lot of people said, well, this is going to cause a lot of problems because leaders are going to run for the hills. Politicians aren’t going to do this. Corporates are out. So don’t overdo this thing.
Christiana Figueres: The opposite happened.
Andrew Steer: [00:53:29] Exactly. That’s the great paradox of leadership. Why? I think there are a couple of reasons. One is the true leaders want to lead. And actually being part of something disruptive is sort of more exciting than being part of something incremental. And you’ve got this whole stock of new leaders, which you guys were pretty influential in bringing them out and encouraging them and cheering them on. So that is an amazing thing. And so suddenly you get not one or two more, but hundreds more, you know. Fifteen hundred major companies now signed up to net zero.
Andrew Steer: And then, you know, Jeff Bezos comes along and says, hey, let’s do it by 2040. And Christiana, can we start something called a climate pledge? Wow. I mean, that is amazing. So that’s the point about about leadership and disruptive change. And sort of a related thing is if you are a business person and you start getting in your head, that it’s not going to be incremental. There are going to be big new industries out there that in and of itself says, I want to get ahead of the curve. So when Boris Johnson says, hey, let’s not allow anyone to sell an internal combustion engine after 2030, that sort of gets in people’s minds. When Prime Minister Modi came into power, you know, and he said not not I know we’re only three gigawatts of solar, but let’s go to 100 gigawatts. That’s truly disruptive. And so businesspeople, investors are thinking this is not your grandfather’s electricity system. This is something brand new. There’s going to be, you know, jobs. There’s going to be research institutes, financial sector. We better get engaged. And so I’m just saying things which you live and breathe each week on this. So keep it up.
Paul Dickinson: [00:55:23] Definitely optimistic would be my observation.
Andrew Steer: But we still we still haven’t got on the scooter fully, by the way. So you’ve still got a panting dog there. And we need to we need to invest in that scooter.
Paul Dickinson: It’s quite an image.
Christiana Figueres: [00:55:37] Well, here’s to high speed electric scooters that do bring all the dogs along with them. Andrew, thank you so much. We are thoroughly delighted and excited about your leadership mission. And I’m sure you know that all of us are right there behind you are ready and willing to help with anything and everything. Thanks so much.
Andrew Steer: Thank you so much, all of you. Thank you. Bye bye.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [00:56:16] So fantastic to get a chance to sit down with Andrew so early in his tenure, I mean, he’s only two weeks into his new job and that he was willing to sit down and talk to us about his ideas and what he’s going to do as all of that emerges. What a privilege to talk to him about that. What did you guys leave that conversation with?
Paul Dickinson: I’m incredibly impressed with Andrew. He’s just a delight and all credit to Jeff Bezos for putting aside 10 billion dollars to combat climate change. That’s a great that’s a great sign of leadership. And I was just thinking about, like the role of philanthropy in society. You know, you’ve heard me go on about how corporations are kind of controlling governments. Actually, NGOs and philanthropy are incredibly important. And what’s philanthropy done in history? Well, to be honest with you, if you think about it, the civil rights movement that supported leaders like Rosa Parks who changed systems, that was in part supported by philanthropy. Gandhi, who led the liberation of India, was in many regards a political entrepreneur outside of the government system supported by philanthropy. There were so many incredible examples of how the world has been changed by philanthropy. I’m just incredibly excited that there’s a lot of money with good judgment from Andrew Steer and the teams around him, and I hope we’re going to see equally catalytic changes in the future as a result.
Christiana Figueres: [00:57:40] Well, we’re definitely Andrew Steer fans have been for a while, and so now that we’re we are so delighted, as Tom has mentioned, that he’s now at the front of the Earth business fund. So a very important conversation that we had with him from which I just wanted to tweeze out two things that I’m particularly excited about. The first is thank you, Andrew Steer, for saying that zero carbon is not our goal. It’s been my pet peeve for a while. This thing about race to zero, in fact, even the term decarbonisation, all of that is just moving us psychologically in the wrong direction. We don’t want carbon zero. We want carbon rich. We want carbon rich future, rich where it’s supposed to be in the soils, where it’s supposed to be. We would have a completely uninhabitable planet if we had a carbon zero planet. We would not be able to be inhabit it. So thank you to Andrew for pointing that one out. Yeah. Pet peeve of mine. I’m delighted that it’s a pet peeve of his as well. The other piece that I think is so transformational about the way that he is thinking is we know that we’ve gone beyond the stage of pilot projects. We’ve known that for a long time. Now, what he’s pointing out is that we have equally gone beyond the stage of individual projects, successful as they may be.
Christiana Figueres: [00:59:26] Just given the time frame that we have now, it just doesn’t cut it anymore. And so his call for initiatives that are much more structured as ecosystems, as collaborative networks, of organizations, of people, of thinkers, of financiers, of scientists or practitioners who actually all commit to the same big, bold goal and then figure out how do they help each other to achieve this in an accelerated fashion. That is, I think, the kind of approach that is needed by the fund, but frankly, by all of us. We just cannot go to individual efforts anymore because we just don’t have the time. If we had the time, fine, then we could have the patience for that. But impatience is the name of the game here, and we have to go toward something that is much higher impact. But also, may I point out, it’s not just because of the time. The fact is we’ve realised that the kinds of transformations that we need are complex transformations. And so to artificially simplify them into individual projects is just shooting ourselves in the foot. So I am delighted with his focus to complexity, if you will, and to embrace the complexity of the challenge that faces us and actually put complex collaborative ecosystem networks at play in order to address those challenges.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [01:01:07] Yeah, I completely agree with that. And I think that that focus on the collaboration of getting players to work well together. Those of us who have worked in the climate space for a long time know it is fragmented. There is overlap between people’s missions. People compete where they should collaborate. So baking that into the overall structure and the strategy, I think is going to be is going to be really essential. And I think that that was also clearly articulated by him when he talked about the role they want to play in the ecosystem. They want to see what’s good and elevated. They don’t want to come in and kind of tell people what to do. Interestingly, I’ve been involved in climate change for 15, 20 years. And in that time, I’ve seen a shift from strategy development from the leadership of NGOs to the project offices of foundations, so that when I started, NGOs would say, this is what we want to do and then someone would fund it. Now, foundations say this is our theory of change. Who can we contract to deliver it on our behalf? And I think there’s good and bad about that.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: But I think what Andrew’s come in with is a huge amount of self awareness to try to play that coordinating and convening role, but also not to try to impose a theory of change on anyone, which I think is really important. The other thing, just on a personal level, I know we’re sort of playing the Andrew Steer tune here. I love his enthusiasm and his energy. I mean, someone who’s been involved in this stuff for such a long time. Most people who’ve been doing this thing for a long time become a bit cynical of like, no, that wouldn’t work. We tried this. He’s always up for it, he’s always like, yes, that’s great, let’s do it, and I think that that energy will just really carry him such a long way in doing this job. And I’m sure he’ll be loved by the grantees. In the way that you pointed out, Christiana, he was loved and venerated by the staff at WRI.
Christiana Figueres: [01:02:50] So that was probably his electric scooter, right. His own personal scooter is the fact that he’s always so enthusiastic and so contagious. Such an optimist. And God bless him. Right. Because it’s not for lack of knowledge of the reality, not knowing about the problems. They know about the problem. He’s just really, really committed to success. His own personal electric scooter, no matter how fast the bus is running, he is on a darn electric scooter and he’s going to catch up with that bus.
Paul Dickinson: And it’s going to shoot past you, I think. To your point about that enthusiasm, it’s completely infectious, actually. And Tom, you were saying about these people to say, oh, we tried that before and it didn’t work. A wonderful boss of mine once said, when you hear yourself saying we tried that before and it didn’t work, it’s time for you to move on, get out, because somebody else could be there making things happen. But one thing just reflecting on this nature of philanthropy. Yes I super appreciate the embracing of complexity and natural systems are incredibly complex. But there’s one bit of simplification that I think we should all hold in our minds, that’s incredibly important and exciting about philanthropy and what NGOs do. And that is: it is not party political. I remember actually I first started campaigning in lesbian gay rights in the UK 33 years ago. And, you know, we helped to form this thing called the Stonewall Lobby Group. And we got equality for lesbian and gay people in the noughties. Took it took a long time. But my point is that looking back, I realize this is not about your party persuasion. And we’re building these big non-party political movements. And we have to recognize that, that person across the street, they’re different to you, they vote a different way. They kind of have different beliefs about this, beliefs about that. But when it comes to climate change, ecological security, we’re together united and we’re doing that really quite well in the EU, not so well in the United States.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: [01:04:59] Ok, anything else before we go to our beautiful musical artist who’s going to play us out?
Christiana Figueres: Let’s do it.
Tom Rivett-Carnac: So thank you, everyone, so much for joining us this week. Hope you enjoyed this episode. This was great to bring this conversation with Andrew and have a discussion about nature this week. We have a real treat for you. Playing out the episode is cellist and singer songwriter Marie Spaemann and her single Circles. We’ll pass over to Marie, who will introduce the music. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you as ever next week.
Paul Dickinson: Bye.
Christiana Figueres: Bye.
Marie Spaemann: [01:05:34] I love the fact that artists can add their very own emotions to facts and numbers when it comes to certain issues and that we do have our voices and can use them, that we may exaggerate or be silly, cheesy or melodramatic in order to transport a certain message at the same time. I think the authenticity and simplicity music sometimes can have has the potential to move, sometimes more than a lot of words. In the beginning of the lockdown in March in Austria, the picture of people running around in circles at their homes and being stuck was something that I thought a lot about and that inspired me to write the song, as well as the fact that I had the impression that the circumstances in the last year amplified how everyone was feeling individually a lot. I feel like the good stuff and the bad stuff was amplified. And whatever subjects, whatever issues people were dealing with, they were brought up even more. And it was important to find a way to break these circles, even if it was dreaming away.
Clay: [01:12:47] So there you go, another episode of Outrage + Optimism, my name is Clay, I’m the producer of this podcast. Thank you for tuning in with us. The song that you just heard is Circles by Marie Spaemann. And on accordion was Christian Bakanic. Now, Marie has toured the world playing music, and I hope she comes to the States when things open up again. But in the meantime, she can play for you and me anytime, thanks to the internet. Now I have links to her music in the show notes, so be sure to go buy one of her records. But also check out this live performance that Marie and Christian did together. It’s titled Oscar’s Dream. It’s wildly creative. I honestly have never heard anything quite like it and I have them to thank. So Marie Spaemann, folks, it’s called talent. I actually did not know I was missing hearing the cello so much. Oh, and while you’re in the show notes, I’ve put a link to the Breaking Boundaries trailer that Christiana mentioned earlier in the show. I just watched it and wow. Yeah, June 4th, it’s on the calendar because that’s when it comes out. But if you need to be reminded, Netflix has this little bell icon under the title of the film and it will ping you when the film is released.
Paul: [01:14:08] So I’m not suggesting you need more pings and dings from your phone in your life, but I am saying that this would be a good one. OK, say it with me. Outrage + Optimism is a Global Optimism production. Our executive producer is Sharon Johnson and our producer is Clay Carnill. Global Optimism is Sara Law, Katie Bradford, Lara Richardson, Marina Mansilla-Hermann, Sophie McDonald, Freya Newman, Sarah Thomas, Sue Reid and Jon Ward, our hosts, our Christiana Figueres, Paul Dickinson and Tom Rivett-Carnac, thank you to our guests this week, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, Andrew Steer. Andrew was a delight to meet and chat with, and I have to say he has a great radio voice. So I’m going to get this man a podcast. OK, listeners, you can follow us on all social media accounts at Global Optimism, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, you know, and if you feel so inclined, please leave us a rating on Apple podcasts and helps us get the word out. And we love reading your reviews. And sometimes we read them on the podcast. So you might hear from us what you have to say. All right. That is the credits. Next week, another episode coming your way. Don’t miss it. Hit subscribe and we’ll see you then.