#SustyTalk: TransitionZero’s CEO on accelerating the just, low-carbon energy transition

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#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainability leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on through the current cost of living crisis and beyond. It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the leaders who are continuing to drive sustainable business and climate action.

For this latest #SustyTalk episode, edie’s deputy editor Sarah George is in conversation with Matthew Gray, the co-founder and chief executive of TransitionZero. 

TransitionZero is a not-for-profit that exists to provide decision-makers including policymakers and investors with the data they need to make good decisions to manage risk and opportunity amid the accelerating transition to clean energy.

After a round of introductions, Matthew explains why the data underpinning some of the world’s biggest energy-related decisions and deals is likely to be outdated or to face other credibility issues. He gives his overview of his work to change this situation, and also dives in to some of the other key barriers to scaling global clean finance flows, such as capital costs and capital access for developing and emerging countries. These challenges, he explains, have been ongoing – but particularly stark given the current global economic outlook.

Matthew says: “We’re currently in a high-interest-rate environment, which means that lending is more challenging – particularly to those countries in the global south where the cost of borrowing is substantially higher anyway.

“With regards to climate finance, most of the finance to date – if it has come at all – has come in the form of loans rather than grants. This tends to make the situation worse, because a number of these countries are not in a position to borrow more, because it would impact their credit rating. This would be disastrous for their ability to remain competitive.

“I think, to solve these problems, there needs to be a fundamental rethink.”

Matthew also touches on the recent energy-related policy decision-making in the UK. Anxiety has been brewing in the UK’s green economy in recent weeks as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces pressure from within his own party to water down key policies on electric vehicles and renewable energy. He faces far greater pressure from other Tory MPs, MPs in other parties, businesses, scientists and environmental groups. You can read edie’s summary here.

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk interviews

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email newsdesk@fav-house.com. Please bear in mind that our interview calendar is now booked for August. 

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