Renowned sustainability expert William McDonough, Chief Executive of McDonough Innovation who pioneered the concepts of Cradle to Cradle Design™, anchored a panel titled, “Why Carbon is not the Enemy,” at the CERAWeek event today in Houston, Texas. McDonough, joined by Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, discussed the idea that carbon is not the enemy. The session was moderated by Atul Arya, Senior Vice President and Chief Energy Strategist of S&P Global Commodity Insights, and held at the Climate Hub, Innovation Agora, George R. Brown Convention Center. McDonough’s commentary published in Nature, “Carbon is Not the Enemy,” inspired the discussion, where he introduced a new language of carbon that encourages the proper use of living and durable carbon and work to eliminate fugitive carbon driven by human behaviors.
The session was divided into three topics. The first topic centered on the development of a new language for carbon that would shift the conversation about it from enemy to friend. This involved exploring different types of carbon and the concept of “climate positive.”
The second topic explored circularity and how to visualize a circular carbon economy for the audience. McDonough shared his thoughts on Cradle to Cradle Design and its continued relevance and impact, while Holmgren discussed how circularity has influenced LanzaTech’s strategy.
The third topic focused on creating impact, the scale of carbon circulation, transition technologies, and limitless technologies. Holmgren provided examples of how LanzaTech is enabling the circular economy and how to engage policymakers and investors to accelerate circularity. The panelists also discussed what companies at CERAWeek can do to embrace a circular carbon economy.
“Carbon is a critical element that can be harnessed for good,” said William McDonough. “Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle caused by us, a design failure. When we design with the natural cycle in mind, we ensure that carbon ends up in the right places. It was a pleasure to share the stage with Holmgren, Arya and other industry experts to explore how we can drive meaningful change and create a safe and circular future.”
CERAWeek provides an integrated framework for understanding what’s ahead for global energy markets, geopolitics, and technology. Participants include senior executives, government officials, thought leaders, academics, technology innovators and financial leaders. CERAWeek brings together global leaders to advance new ideas, insight and solutions to the biggest challenges facing the future of energy, the environment, and climate.