Cleaning Up. Leadership in an age of climate change.

Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Informational, inspiring and fun!

Recent Episodes

Ep67: Mariana Mazzucato 'Mission Economist'

Dec. 8, 2021

Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She i…

Ep66: David Sandalow 'US China - strategic rivals, climate partners'

Dec. 1, 2021

David Sandalow is the Inaugural Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and co-Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He founded an…

Ep65: Dan Doctoroff 'Cities, Service, and Cities-as-a-Service'

Nov. 24, 2021

Dan Doctoroff is the Founder and CEO of Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company that works with cities to address key urban problems. Before founding Sidewalk Labs in 2015, Dan spent 6 years working at Bloomberg L.P. first as…

Ep64: Guy Turner 'Good COP, bad COP?'

Nov. 17, 2021

Guy Turner is the founder and CEO of Trove Research and an expert on carbon markets. Guy has 30 years’ experience in research and strategy in sustainability and the energy transition. He spent his first 15 years in consul…

Ep63: Glen Peters 'The Past, Present & Future of CO2 Emissions'

Nov. 10, 2021

Glen Peters is Research Director at Center for International Climate Research (CICERO) in Oslo. Previously he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Industrial Ecology Programme at NTNU. Dr Peters is a worldwide authority …

Ep62: Damilola Ogunbiyi 'Energy - The red Thread Through the SDGs'

Nov. 3, 2021

Damilola Ogunbiyi is the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy Mrs. Ogunbiyi has extensive experience in t…

Ep61: Julia King 'Engineering the UK’s Net Zero Transition'

Oct. 27, 2021

Professor Dame Julia King (Baroness Brown of Cambridge) DBE, FRS, FREng is an engineer, crossbench member of the House of Lords and Chair of The Carbon Trust. Julia started her career in academia as a Rolls-Royce fellow at …

Ep60: Todd Stern 'President Obama's climate negotiator'

Oct. 20, 2021

Todd Stern is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, best known for leading the US delegation at COP21 in his capacity as Special Envoy for Climate Change at the Department of State. Todd’s political career started…

Ep 59: Alain Ebobissé 'Meeting Africa's Infrastructure Needs'

Oct. 13, 2021

Alain Ebobissé is a specialist in the financing and development of infrastructure and CEO of Africa50. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Ebobissé served as the Global Head of the World Bank Group’s Global Infrastructur…

Ep 58: John Redfern 'Cracking the Geothermal Code'

Oct. 11, 2021

John Redfern is an investor, advisor and serial entrepreneur in the data analytics, oil service and energy tech verticals. John spent his career in executive roles at multiple international oil and oil service companiess inc…

Ep 57: Julie Klinger 'Rare Earths, Real Insight'

Oct. 6, 2021

Julie Klinger is an Assistant Professor of Geographer at the University of Delaware and also affiliated with the university's new Minerals, Materials and Society Program. She is the author of "Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terr…

Ep 56: The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor William Russell 'Greening the City of London'

Sept. 29, 2021

William Russel was elected as Alderman for the Ward of Bread Street in 2013 and served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2016-17. He has been the Lord Mayor of the City of London since 2019. Before leaving for public serv…

Ep55: Elizabeth Wathuti 'Planting the Seeds of Inspiration'

Sept. 22, 2021

Elizabeth Wathuti is a Kenyan environment and climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative, which nurtures young people to be environmentally conscious and has planted 30,000 tree seedlings in Kenya. S…

Ep 54: Laurence Tubiana 'The Éminence Grise of the Paris Agreement'

Sept. 15, 2021

Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF). In addition, she is the Chair of the Board of Governors at the French Development Agency (AFD), the Chair of the Board at Expertise France (The French public …

Ep53: Eamon Ryan 'Ireland's Jolly Green Giant'

Sept. 8, 2021

Eamon Ryan is the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Minister for Transport in the Irish government and leader of the Green Party. Eamon’s political career began in 1998 when he was co-opted to Dublin…

Ep52: Tony Abbott 'Green Trade or Green Trade-Off'

Sept. 1, 2021

Tony Abbott was the Australian PM between 2013 and 2015, the leader of the Liberal Party between 2009 and 2015 and an MP for Warringah between 1994 and 2019. He currently serves as an advisor to the UK Board of Trade alongsi…

Cleaning Up Audioblog Episode 4: Separating Hype from Hydrogen – Part Two: The Demand Side

Aug. 11, 2021

This episode of Cleaning Up is based on a October 2020 blog written by Michael for BloombergNEF We would like to thank BloombergN…

Cleaning Up Audioblog Episode 3: Separating Hype from Hydrogen – Part One: The Supply Side

Aug. 4, 2021

This episode of Cleaning Up is based on a October 2020 blog written by Michael for BloombergNEF We would like to thank Bloombe…

Cleaning Up Audioblog Episode 2: Climate Action – It’s The Trade, Stupid

July 28, 2021

This episode of Cleaning Up is based on a June 2021 blog written by Michael for BloombergNEF We would like to thank BloombergNEF for allowing us…

Ep51: Yousef Alshammari 'Saudi Arabia's net zero conundrum'

July 21, 2021

Dr. Yousef Alshammari, is the CEO and Head of Oil Research at CMarkits. He is a former Research Fellow in energy economics at OPEC. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London where he worke…

Ep50: Lord John Browne 'Beyond Net Zero'

July 14, 2021

Lord Browne is a Senior Advisor at General Atlantic on climate and Net Zero, providing strategic support and advice to the firm’s investment teams and portfolio companies. He served as Group Chief Executive of BP from 1995 t…

Ep49: Johan Rockström 'Pushing Planetary Boundaries'

July 7, 2021

Johan Rockström is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor in Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam. He is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainabi…

Ep48: Nick Stern 'Planetary Crisis? Call an Economist!'

June 30, 2021

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern is the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Pol…

Innovation Finance

Ep47: Gina Domanig 'Open to Innovation'

June 23, 2021

Gina Domanig is the Managing Partner and founder of Emerald Technology Ventures, the first independent cleantech venture capital fund in Europe. Gina currently serves on the boards of the following portfolio companies: G…


Ep46: Angelina Galiteva 'California's Clean Energy Dream'

June 16, 2021

Angelina Galiteva has been appointed Chair of the California Independent System Operator’s Board of Governors in 2020, after a decade spent on the Board as a member. Angelina is the founder & Chair of the Board of Renewa…


Ep45: Catherine McKenna 'Powering Canada Past Coal'

June 9, 2021

Catherine McKenna is a Canadian Liberal politician serving as the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities since 2019. Before that she was the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for 4 years. Her ministerial man…


Ep44: James Thornton 'Enforcing the Laws of Nature'

June 2, 2021

James Thornton is the CEO and founder of ClientEarth, a leading environmental law organisation in Europe. Since its establishment in 2007, ClientEarth tackled world’s most pressing environmental issues such as biodiversity l…

Politics Innovation

Ep43: Nigel Topping 'Racing to Zero'

May 26, 2021

Nigel Topping was appointed UK High Level Champion for Climate Action in January 2020. His role involves bringing together different stakeholders in the #racetozero. His vision is to create a bigger role for non-state actors…

Science Innovation

Ep42: Thomas Nowak 'Pumping Heat'

May 19, 2021

Thomas Nowak is the Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association - he’s an expert on heating and electricity. Thomas is a man who walks the talk – he’s a proud owner of a heat pump and a solar power plant. In …

Politics Business

Ep41: Sharan Burrow 'Just Transition or Just Talk?'

May 12, 2021

Sharan Burrow has been the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation since 2010. In her role she represents 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 331 national affiliates and is the …

Policy Finance

Cleaning Up Audioblog - Episode 1: Climate and Finance, Lessons from a Time Machine

May 5, 2021

This episode of Cleaning Up is based on a March 2021 blog written by Michael for BloombergNEF We would like to thank BloombergNEF for a…

Academia Finance

Ep40: Naoko Ishii 'Global Environment Facilitator'

April 28, 2021

Naoko Ishii is a professor, executive vice president and Director of the Center for Global Commons at the University of Tokyo since August 2020. The Center for Global Commons has the mission of putting academia at the forefr…

Agriculture Debates

Ep39: Debate Special with Gareth Wyn Jones and Ben Goldsmith 'The Argument That Never Happened'

April 22, 2021

It’s a first here on Cleaning Up, our very own debate special. Today we will be joined by Ben Goldsmith and Gareth Wyn-Jones to discuss farming and agricultural policy. Please welcome them both, and wish them both luck! …


Ep38: Tony Blair 'A Masterclass in Climate Geopolitics'

April 14, 2021

Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 and Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute, joins Michael Liebreich for the first episode of Season 3. Bio Tony Blair was the UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 20…


Ep37: Teresa Ribera 'Driving the Ecological Transition'

March 31, 2021

Teresa Ribera, Deputy Prime Minister in the Spanish government and the Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, is joining us this week on Cleaning Up. She has played a key role in Spain’s low-carbon…


Ep36: Prof. Jim Skea 'It's climate, Jim, but not as we know it.'

March 24, 2021

This week, Michael Liebreich is joined by Professor Jim Skea from Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy and the co-author of the seminal IPCC 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C. Bio Jim…


Ep35: Kate Hampton 'Investing in Climate Activism'

March 17, 2021

This week our guest on Cleaning Up is Kate Hampton, the CEO of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation and a long-time expert in sustainable finance and the carbon markets. Bio Kate Hampton has been the CEO of the…


Ep34: Kristian Ruby 'Electrifying Almost Everything for Net-Zero'

March 10, 2021

This week, Kristian Ruby, the Secretary-General of Eurelectric since 2017, will be joining us for a conversation. Eurelectric is a pan-European organisation with the aim of representing the common interests of the electricit…

Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8, 2021

Today is International Women’s Day. We want to take the time to highlight some of the incredible women who are leading the world’s pivot to net-zero. From politics to finance and diplomacy, these women are vital to climate a…


Ep33: Rt Hon Amber Rudd 'Leading the way from Westminster to Paris'

March 3, 2021

From the core of British politics, Amber Rudd joins Michael Liebreich for a conversation. She is the former MP for Hastings and Rye representing the Conservative party, the Home Secretary for 2 years from 2016, and the Secre…


Ep32: Greg Jackson 'Building the Billion-Customer Energy Company'

Feb. 24, 2021

Joining Cleaning Up today is start-up legend, Greg Jackson. Greg is CEO and founder of Octopus Energy whose mission is to bring ‘power to the people’ by supplying their customers with 100% green electricity at fair prices. …


Ep31: Emma Howard Boyd 'Climate Change? We'll be in Floods.'

Feb. 17, 2021

Emma Howard Boyd is one of the leading voices in the UK’s Environment scene. As the Chair of the Environment Agency, she is at the forefront of the current environment agenda. This week, Michael and Emma will discuss everyth…


Ep30: Claire Perry O'Neill 'Ecopragmatism and Policy Innovation'

Feb. 10, 2021

Having first met in Business School in Harvard, Claire Perry O'Neill and Michael Liebreich go back a long way. However, he has never been surprised at how much she's achieved since then. From finance to politics and now to t…


Ep29: Steven Chu 'Nobel Hero talks Net Zero'

Feb. 3, 2021

This week, we welcome Steven Chu, Professor of Physics and Physiology at Stanford University, and the 1997 co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics to Cleaning Up. Professor Chu was was the first of two Secretaries of…


Ep28: Fatih Birol 'Setting the World's Energy Agenda'

Jan. 27, 2021

Named one of the most influential people in the energy sector by the Forbes magazine and the energy personality of the year by the Financial Times in 2017, Fatih Birol is one of the most important voices in the energy world.…


Ep27: Beverley Gower-Jones 'Clean Growth Funder'

Jan. 20, 2021

Beverley Gower-Jones is the leading figure in the cleantech start-up world. She is the Managing Partner at the Clean Growth Fund which invests in the UK's most promising early-stage, clean growth ventures. She’s also the CEO…


Ep26: Minister Zac Goldsmith 'Environmental leadership in a post-Brexit world'

Jan. 13, 2021

More than any other single person, Zac Goldsmith - or The Right Honourable Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park as he is properly known – is responsible for the UK Conservative Party’s relatively recent conversion to the cause of…


Ep25: Bryony Worthington 'Putting the Act into climate action'

Jan. 6, 2021

How do we get climate at the forefront of politics? How can we good data influence the climate transition? In the first episode of the second season of Cleaning Up, Michael Liebreich speaks to Bryony Worthington: a crossbenc…

Ep24: Holiday Special - A Look Back at Season One

Dec. 23, 2020

2020 has been a strange and difficult year. In the midst of the global pandemic, Michael decided to reach out to some familiar faces in global climate leadership not only to catch up but also to discuss how the world can mov…


Ep23: James Cameron 'Trade and Sustainability - the Radical in a Suit'

Dec. 16, 2020

Last but not least, our concluding episode of 2020 is with James Cameron. No not the director, but he is doing radical things in a suit (this will make more sense once you press play). Find out why Tom Paine was an important…


Ep22: Robin Chase ‘Mobility, Cities and Social Entrepreneurship’

Dec. 9, 2020

What is the future of urban transportation in the world’s cities? Will autonomous cars revolutionize our lives? Meet the woman behind the world’s largest car sharing company, Robin Chase, the transport entrepreneur. She is t…


Ep21: Claude Turmes ‘Clean Energy Coalition-builder'

Dec. 2, 2020

What happens behind the scenes of the EU Parliament? One of the leading figures in European politics, Claude Turmes, the Minister for Energy and Minister for Spatial Planning in Luxembourg, joins Michael Liebreich for episod…


Ep20: Richenda Van Leeuwen 'A Life of Energy Access and Inclusion'

Nov. 25, 2020

As a 10 year old girl, Richenda Van Leeuwen saw a solar panel at the Centre of Alternative Technology on a rainy day in Wales. This would serve as her first point of inspiration for the career ahead of her. Now, she is the E…


Ep19: Mike Bennetts 'Leadership from the Heart of the Problem'

Nov. 18, 2020

From CEO of Z Energy to founding the Climate Leaders Coalition, Mike Bennetts has had an immense impact on New Zealand’s position in reducing emissions in the country. Mike and Michael sit down from other sides of the world …

Innovation Finance

Ep18: Nancy Pfund 'Women backing Winners'

Nov. 11, 2020

How can venture capital be used to promote social change and environmental improvement? As a leading venture capitalist of her time and one of the early investors in Tesla, find out the drive behind Nancy Pfund’s incredible …

Politics Science

Ep17: Prof. Ernest J. Moniz 'Innovation and Power'

Nov. 6, 2020

What would Professor Ernest Moniz, 13th United States Secretary of Energy, say to the 16th Secretary who will be appointed in the coming months? Would he, as the architect of the JCPOA (known better as the Iran nuclear dea…


Ep16: Dr Kandeh K. Yumkella 'Sustainable Energy for All'

Nov. 4, 2020

How did Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella impact the Sustainable Development Goals? How has he influenced energy's position in development? Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella – known as KKY in his native Sierra Leone - is a senior academic and…

Academia Science

Ep15: Auke Hoekstra 'The Debunker-in-Chief'

Oct. 28, 2020

How can we use data modelling to predict the future of zero-emission energy? This week, Auke Hoekstra discusses the SparkCity model, dealing with, adoption of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and the effects the s…


Ep14: Jonathan Maxwell 'Cheaper, Cleaner, More Reliable'

Oct. 21, 2020

How much energy are data centres using worldwide? Why have lamps been a massive infrastructure revolution? From food waste in olive production in Spain to air pollution, Michael welcomes Jonathan Maxwell into his home for Cl…


Ep13: Morgan Bazilian 'Poet of the Low-Carbon Transition'

Oct. 14, 2020

How to estimate amount of oil produced in Syria by Daesh using satellite photos of night time lights? How, using the same technique, can we measure reliability of access to energy? How to provide reliable and affordable ener…


Ep12: Ramez Naam 'Seeing the Future'

Oct. 7, 2020

How did Ramez Naam spot the exponential cost trends in renewables? How should we tailor our messaging to convince different audiences we need to act on climate change? Why are forecasters so often wrong? Ramez Naam, our Ep12…


Ep11: Jon Dee 'From Celebrity to Action'

Sept. 30, 2020

How to get members of bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Rush, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple together to help a country devastated by an earthquake? How helpful can celebrities be in the clean energy transition? Do we fully recog…


Ep10: Angela Francis 'A Green Deal without the Yellow Vests'

Sept. 23, 2020

What does Brexit mean for the climate transition? What will COPs 30 to 50 be about (and why is it trade?) What should environmentalists do instead of giving somebody who's got a pile of problems another one to deal with? Do…


Ep9: Jigar Shah 'Creating Climate Wealth'

Sept. 16, 2020

How does one come up with a brand new clean energy business model? Why if energy transition is the 'biggest wealth creation opportunity of our lifetimes' many have been slow to get on board? What went wrong in California wit…


Ep8: Roger Dennis 'The Price of Resilience'

Sept. 9, 2020

What does a futurist do? Does it include dealing with jetpacks? Or is it more about helping organisations to become more resilient? Cool as jetpacks might be, our Episode 8 guest, Roger Dennis covers no less interesting topi…


Ep7: Bertrand Piccard 'A Good and Exciting Life'

Sept. 2, 2020

According to Wikipedia, Bertrand Piccard is a Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist. This is something of an understatement. Bertrand did indeed qualify as a psychiatrist from the University of Lausanne. But he is best-known as …


Ep6: Christiana Figueres 'To Paris and Beyond'

Aug. 26, 2020

What does it take to turn a demoralised organisation around? How to convince 195 states to sign up to the Paris agreement? What does Christiana Figueres have to say about RCP8.5 and those still believing there will be no ene…


Ep5: Kirsty Gogan 'Fighting for Nuclear'

Aug. 19, 2020

What role (if any) should nuclear play in a low carbon future? Should we build more large-scale light-water reactors despite high costs? Is nuclear safe? Kirsty Gogan, a leading voice on nuclear power answers all of the abov…


Ep4: Barbara Buchner 'Counting the Climate Cash'

Aug. 12, 2020

How much is being invested in climate action around the world? Where and in which sectors are the investments concentrated? How much is needed to get us on track for net zero? If it wasn’t for our Episode 4 guest, Barbara Bu…


Ep3: Antony Slumbers 'Real Estate in the Crosshairs'

Aug. 5, 2020

Why human skills matter in an intensely more technological world? Are we going to return to our offices when the pandemic is over, or is remote work the new normal? Will office space become a service? In Episode 3 of Cleanin…


Ep2: Rachel Kyte "Investing in climate leadership "

July 29, 2020

What is stopping us from providing affordable and reliable energy for all? What is the role of graduate education in addressing the racial inequalities still so manifest in the US? What does leadershi... Rachel Kyte CMG is …


Ep1: Prof. Cameron Hepburn "Building back better"

July 22, 2020

What makes a green stimulus? What might a better metric for economic performance than GDP look like? Who is the faster cyclist, Michael Liebreich or Cameron Hepburn, Dean of the Smith School at Oxford? Don’t miss the very fi…