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!


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 to record it.

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 worked on designing innovative processes for clean hydrogen generation from heav…

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 to 2007, after having joined the company in 1966 as a university apprentice.…

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 sustainability issues, most known for developing the Planetary Boundaries framework f…

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 Policy and Head of the India Observatory at the London School of Economics. …

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: GeoDigital International Inc, a geo-spatial intelligence provider for electr…


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 Renewables 100 Policy Institute. She is also a Renewable Energy Expert Speaker at…


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 mandate includes ensuring infrastructure investments support just economic gro…


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 loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals using advocacy, litigation and res…

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 within the climate conversation, which he successfully managed in the Pari…

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 2006, Thomas Nowak was appointed as the Secretary General of the European H…

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 first woman to have this position. Sharan Burrow has been the person behind…

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 allowing us to record it.

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 forefront of achieving sustainable development From 2012 to 2020, Dr Naoko Ish…

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! Bio – Ben Goldsmith Ben Goldsmith is the chief executive officer of Me…


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 2007 and is now the Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute, a not-for…


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 transition and is a vocal advocate of a green COVID-19 recovery. Bio …


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 Skea is a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London and t…


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 Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) since March 2016. Before that…


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 electricity industry. He was also once part of the Danish government in the Ministrie…

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 action on an international level. Each episode is available in full at www…


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 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2018 to 2019. Bio Amber R…


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. Bio Greg Jackson is the CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, the new…


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 everything from recent flooding in the UK to the unique UWC schooling experience. …


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 the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, she has been behind …


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 Energy during President’s Obama term as president, the second being Ernie …


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. He is the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, leading i…


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 and founder of Carbon Limiting Technologies, helping companies to commerci…


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 the environment. Bio Zac Goldsmith has devoted his entire profes…


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 crossbench member of the House of Lords, founder of Ember, and the lead author of th…

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 move towards a more sustainable and equitable future. In this Holiday Special,…


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 inspiration for his career, what the WTO needs to do to progress and trade…


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 the co-founder of Zipcar, Veniam and now, co-founder of NUMO. She is also a …


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 episode 21. As a member of the European Green Party and a former Member of the Eu…


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 Executive Director of Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. In the 20t…


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 for the 19th episode of Cleaning Up. Mike Bennetts is presently the foundi…

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 career, this week, on Cleaning Up. Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managin…

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 deal) agree with Donald Trump that it was “the worst deal ever negotiated? (Sp…


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 politician. He joins Michael Liebreich this week to talk about his journey…

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 switch to EVs is going to have on the grid. Auke joins Michael for this wee…


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 Cleaning Up’s 14th episode! Jonathan Maxwell is the CEO of Sustainable Devel…


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 energy for all? And when will we be digging cobalt on Mars? Our Episode 13 gue…


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 guest talks about all of the above and much more! Not many people manage …


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 recognize the role business plays in solving environmental problems? Jon Dee, le…


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 we need a revolution to save the planet or will reform do? Angela Francis …


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 with rolling blackouts and why Jigar Shah believes it has to do with the sunny…


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 topics: how he helped to prepare New Zealand’s businesses and health care syste…


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 an explorer, aviator and communicator. Bertrand comes from a family of ex…


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 energy transition? Find out in Episode 6 of Cleaning Up. Christiana Figueres…


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 above. In addition to being an authority on nuclear, Kirsty is an award-winnin…


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 Buchner, it would be impossible to answer these questions. Barbara Buchner …


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 Cleaning Up Antony Slumbers, software technology strategist, commercial real estat…


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 the 14th Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and the first wom…


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 first episode of Cleaning Up!