Rob Barnett and Rob Du Boff of Bloomberg Intelligence

The Plantbased Business Hour

Robert Barnett, Bloomberg Intelligence Energy Analyst, and Robert Du Boff, Bloomberg Intelligence ESG Analyst, join CEO of VegTech Invest, Elysabeth Alfano, on The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss the overlap of energy use and food systems and how shifting one can shift another.

Specifically, we discussed

  1. What were the outcomes of the Looking Back on Dubai (COP28), Looking Ahead to Baku (COP29) Bloomberg Intelligence summit, and specifically what were the outcomes of the panel on climate, nature and biodiversity?
  2. Given the agricultural-food systems large environmental footprint (30% of the world’s GhGE according to the UNEP) why are there not more discussions on food systems as a solution to 2030 goals?
  3. Let’s discuss the food/energy overlap and how changing food systems impacts changing energy use.
  4. According to the FAO, food systems externalize $12.7 trillion. Is this considered when speaking of a just transition?
  5. What role will blended capital play in the Finance COP29 at Baku?
  6. Energy stocks have taken it on the chin. Do you see this turning around, and if so, when?

Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our long-form conversation.

Elysabeth: I want to bring on Senior ESG Analyst, Rob Du Boff, and Senior Energy Analyst both at Bloomberg Intelligence, Rob Barnett.

I’m always amazed that food systems aren’t talked about more in the general energy conversation. Is that what you see Rob B?

Rob Barnett: Yeah, I think the food system is sort of an important part of the global greenhouse gas footprint. So I think you’ve got to think about it from an emissions perspective. On the energy front, I think that there are so many other things on the packing order. I’m actually pretty optimistic on the energy side of the equation in terms of where emissions could be headed.

Just this morning the IA put out the latest investment figures globally for spending on fossil fuels and spending on clean energy and there is about a trillion dollars a year being spent on fossil fuel projects and development. Then there’s about two trillion a year being spent on clean energy right now. So clean energy is outspending fossil by two to one, and to get to net zero it’s got to be closer to three to one.

So yeah I think there’s a lot of green shoots. It’s trending in the right direction. I don’t know the food piece of it that well, but I can envision a world in a couple of decades where the energy piece of emissions is solved, so that’s going to put increasing pressure on the food industry to solve that too. I know from prior conversations you’re actually pretty optimistic on food, so maybe the world will look pretty good from an emissions perspective in a few decades.

Elysabeth: Going back to Rob D, 2025 is an important year because this is the one where everyone puts their five year plans together. Was anyone talking about this and what those five year plans will include?

Rob Du Boff: No, I mean I think the focus of the conference this year was more on COP29. This is, as you mentioned before, the finance COP so they are really thinking about some financial decisions that need to be made to finance that transition. I think it’s definitely on people’s minds, the stock taking that needs to happen. We also talked longer term around some of the systems that need to be in place to kind of keep us on the glide path beyond 2030. Whether it’s adaptation, but also continued mitigation, some substitutions in the systems that we normally depend on and really kind of thinking through the longer term ramifications of the transition.

New episodes are out every week. Never miss the Plantbased Business Hour or Minute. Subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and sign up for the newsletter. Follow Elysabeth on Linkedin. For information on Plant Powered Consulting, click here.

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