eavesdropping in houston
Overheard: Energy transition experts weigh in at Houston climatetech conference
This week, world leaders are discussing climate change and the future of our planet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, but local leaders were also discussing much closer to home.
Greentown Labs hosted its Climatetech Summit on Thursday, November 4, at both its offices in Houston and Sommerville, Massachusetts. The hybrid event featured a full day of networking, panels, and thought leadership.
Missed the conversation? Here are five key moments from the event.
"Houston cannot transition without transitioning its workforce, and we need to help with that and make sure that people understand that. Demystifying the jobs of the future is key."
— says Juliana Garaizar, Greentown Labs' head of Houston incubator and vice president of innovation, in her welcome address.
"The energy transition in Houston needs to happen in an equitable way," she says. "Houston is the most diverse city in the US. It is up to us now to make it the most inclusive."
"The world will continue to need a lot of hydrocarbons for quite a long period of time, and Houston can and should remain a leader there. But it will not be an engine for growth."
— says Bobby Tudor, former chair of the Greater Houston Partnership and chairman of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co, in his keynote.
"If we are not going to have that business, which accounts for approximately 40 percent of all jobs in Greater Houston, be an engine of growth, we sure as heck better find businesses that are, or we will not have the same kind of prosperity that we've had in our region," Tudor says.
"The Energy Capital of the World will be the leader in the global energy transition."
— says Mayor Sylvester Turner in his address.
"As a lifelong Houston, I am proud of our history and proud of the innovation, growth, and prosperity the energy industry brings to our community," he continues. "But, as leaders of the energy industry, I believe it is our responsibility to continue this legacy and develop the innovative technologies and practices needed to decarbonize the entire energy sector worldwide."
"Texas has more potential to produce clean energy — wind, solar, storage — and efficiency than any other state."
— says HARC President + CEO John Hall in his address.
"And we're fortunate that today — even though we continue to lead the country in producing oil and gas — 40 percent of the electricity being used in this state is zero emitting."
"You don't get change by wishing and hoping. You need to plan and to act."
— says Quantum New Energy CEO Patricia Vega on the panel about transitioning the workforce.
"We live in a world where we can track steps, calories, and likes on social media, but if I ask each one of you what is your carbon footprint or carbon efficiency, many of us don't know how to answer those questions and don't have the tools," she adds.