Episodes
Many people across the world don't have access to healthy food -- while in other places tons of food go to waste. Social entrepreneur Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli thinks we can take bold steps to fix this problem. She lays out what it would take to build a more equitable, sustainable food system that nourishes all people and asks us to widen our perspectives before eating our next meal.
Published 05/11/22
Published 05/11/22
"Breathing clean air is every child's human right," says grassroots campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, sharing the heartbreaking story of her seven-year-old daughter, Ella Roberta, whose asthma was triggered to a fatal point by air pollution. Now, Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is on a mission to raise awareness about the harmful effects of unsafe air on our health and the planet. In this moving talk, she details why governments have an urgent responsibility to take action on air pollution -- and...
Published 02/23/22
Over the last two decades, the wind power industry has grown at a dizzying pace. (Fun fact: a single rotation from one of the world's most powerful wind turbines can generate enough electricity to charge more than 1,400 cell phones.) Building off this exponential growth, Denmark's climate minister Dan Jørgensen lays out his plan to end the country's oil industry by 2050 and transition to a fossil-free future powered by wind energy.
Published 02/16/22
"The way we cool things down is heating the planet even more," says sustainable development expert Rachel Kyte -- and the solutions go well beyond just fixing air-conditioning. She identifies four major areas with transformative solutions -- from roofs painted with bright white paint to solar control glass to more efficient cold chains for vaccines -- that can be implemented in fair and sustainable ways. Learn more about what a community designed for cool could look like.
Published 02/09/22
What do woolly pigs have to do with climate change? They're part of a vital, ingenious and evolving strategy to take carbon out of the sky and store it safely -- in trees, soils, the ocean, buildings, rocks and deep underground. Every carbon removal approach takes some combination of natural resources, human ingenuity and technology, says climate thinker Gabrielle Walker. If we get the mix right, we can clean up the environmental mess we've made, reverse the processes behind climate change...
Published 02/02/22
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup leads the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which gathers the CEOs of twelve of the world's largest oil and gas companies around an ambitious goal: to get one of the sectors contributing most to climate change to drastically lower their own carbon emissions. He describes a possible path for the industry to pivot to net-zero operations, reimagining the role it could play in helping decarbonize the economy and changing how we consume energy -- and he calls for setting a...
Published 01/26/22
Most scientific literature is written only in English, creating an alarming knowledge gap for the 75 percent of the world who don't speak it. That's a big problem for climate change -- because it's hard to take action on something you don't understand. With Climate Cardinals, an international youth-led nonprofit that's working to make the climate movement more accessible, activist and social entrepreneur Sophia Kianni is furthering the global transfer of knowledge by translating and sourcing...
Published 01/19/22
As chairman of the world's largest maritime shipping company, Jim Hagemann Snabe thinks a lot about how goods get where they need to go and the impact their journey has on the planet. Leading the effort to decarbonize shipping by 2050, he shares a plan to convert green electricity into green liquid fuel to power vessels in a process called "power-to-X" -- and urges global leaders to join the voyage towards an innovative, sustainable and fast-approaching future.
Published 01/12/22
By 2100, the UN estimates that the world's population will grow to just over 11 billion people. Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti wants us to start thinking about how we'll house all these people -- and how new construction can fight climate change rather than make it worse. In this visionary talk, Chakrabarti proposes a "Goldilocks" solution to sustainable housing that exists in the sweet spot between single-family homes and towering skyscrapers.
Published 01/05/22
There's been explosive investment in new technologies aimed at decarbonizing the planet. But climate investor Dawn Lippert says something key is missing from this strategy: investment in the local people these solutions would most affect. She shares how she's bridging the gap between investment in new tech and local communities -- by getting closer to the places where these ideas are being put into action.
Published 12/29/21
The doctrine of "first, do no harm" is the basis of the Hippocratic Oath, one of the world's oldest codes of ethics. It governs the work of physicians -- but climate and health campaigner Shweta Narayan says it should go further. In this essential talk, she highlights the interdependence of environmental and human health and emphasizes the necessity of placing health at the heart of all climate solutions.
Published 12/22/21
"How much more damage do we have to endure before we realize that it's cheaper to save this planet than to ruin it?" asks engineer and investor John Doerr. In conversation with Countdown cofounder Lindsay Levin, Doerr and systems innovator Ryan Panchadsaram lay out six big objectives that -- if pursued with speed and scale -- could transform society and get us to net-zero emissions by 2050. An action plan to solve the world's climate crisis, backed up by a proven system for setting goals for...
Published 12/17/21
The financial sector often talks of decarbonizing investment portfolios as a way to fight climate change. But portfolios can be "cleaned" without having any real impact on the problem, says investment expert Nili Gilbert. Bringing science to finance, she unpacks how investors can actually help decarbonize the world -- a costly endeavor, estimated at three to five trillion dollars per year between now and 2050 -- and ensure the climate transition is just, global and interconnected. "Changing...
Published 12/15/21
What we know today about global greenhouse gas emissions is mostly self-reported by countries, and those numbers (sometimes tallied manually on paper!) are often inaccurate and prone to manipulation. If we really want to get serious about fighting climate change, we need a way to track carbon pollution in real-time and identify the worst culprits, says high-tech environmental activist Gavin McCormick. Enter Climate TRACE: a coalition of scientists, activists and tech companies using satellite...
Published 12/08/21
When it comes to tackling climate change, the size of a country doesn't matter -- it's their ambition that counts, says First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. In a rousing talk, she shares examples of small nations -- from Bhutan and Fiji to her own Scotland -- whose leadership and climate action are galvanizing change on the international stage. (Followed by a brief Q&A with TED's global curator Bruno Giussani about the Cambo oil field project)
Published 12/01/21
A net-zero future is possible, but first we need to flip a mental switch to truly understand that we can stop the climate crisis if we try, says Nobel laureate Al Gore. In this inspiring and essential talk, Gore shares examples of extreme climate events (think: fires, floods and atmospheric tsunamis), identifies the man-made systems holding us back from progress and invites us all to join the movement for climate justice: "the biggest emergent social movement in all of history," as he puts...
Published 11/26/21
Today we're featuring a preview of a new show you might enjoy: Guardians of the River, the winner of the 2021 Best Narrative Nonfiction Podcast Award at Tribeca Film Festival. This is the story of the guardians of the Okavango water system. These guardians have a monumental task: safeguard a remote, near pristine environment facing threats from all sides. This podcast follows what happens when worlds connect, and at times collide, with the common goal of protecting a place. Hosted by Angolan...
Published 11/24/21
Climate action can be a vehicle to deliver dignity, opportunity and equality for all. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed invites us to reimagine what the journey to net-zero could look like if we invest in people's climate efforts while prioritizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals -- a blueprint of interlinked global goals to protect humanity and our warming planet. "It's time to make some serious noise to transform our world," she says.
Published 11/19/21
"Cutting methane is the single fastest, most effective opportunity to reduce climate change risks in the near term," says atmospheric scientist Ilissa Ocko. That's because, unlike carbon dioxide, methane's warming power doesn't come from a gradual buildup over time but is almost entirely from recent emissions. Ocko identifies three main sources of methane pollution which, if addressed, could dramatically slow down the rate of global warming within years -- not decades. "This is the methane...
Published 11/17/21
In 2020, China's President Xi Jinping pledged that China would both peak its emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 -- a change that will require action at an unheard-of scale and speed. Can the country actually achieve this ambitious vision? In this forward-looking talk, environmental journalist and analyst Hongqiao Liu explores what the world's largest carbon emitter (and second-largest economy) will need to do to get there.
Published 11/12/21
To fight climate change, we need to clean up the global electricity system by replacing fossil fuel power plants with clean generation -- right? Climate author Solomon Goldstein-Rose thinks we need to do much more than that. Replacement isn't enough, he explains in this compelling talk: we need to rapidly develop a new global system capable of producing 12 times the amount of clean electricity we generate today. He shares four reasons why we need that expansion -- first, to electrify...
Published 11/10/21
We currently have enough fossil fuels to progressively transition off of them, says climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman, but the industry continues to expand oil, gas and coal production and exploration. With searing passion and unflinching nerve, Berman reveals the delusions keeping true progress from being made -- and offers a realistic path forward: the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Learn more about the global initiative for transparency and accountability in phasing out fossil...
Published 11/06/21
The roadmap to ending pollution from transportation is here, says electrification advocate Monica Araya. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Araya introduces Drive Electric: a global campaign to retire the polluting internal combustion engine in time to avoid climate disaster. And she shares some exciting news: a breakthrough funding commitment from the Audacious Project that puts the project well on its way to realizing a billion-dollar plan to supercharge the transition to...
Published 11/03/21
Living in a city means accepting a certain level of dysfunction: long commutes, noisy streets, underutilized spaces. Carlos Moreno wants to change that. He makes the case for the "15-minute city," where inhabitants have access to all the services they need to live, learn and thrive within their immediate vicinity -- and shares ideas for making urban areas adapt to humans, not the other way around.
Published 10/29/21