Courtesy Mark Herrema

Mark Herrema is CEO and co-founder of Newlight Technologies. His company harnesses natural microorganisms found in the ocean to convert greenhouse gases into a biodegradable polymer called AirCarbon that can serve as an alternative to plastic across industries ranging from fashion to food.

What is the single most important action you think the public, or a specific company or government, needs to take in the next year to advance the climate agenda?

Education is the most important action the world can take right now. Knowing the tangible cost of climate change in terms of losses from floods, fires, drought, insurance premiums, and crop yield losses, among other things, will enable us to take more targeted actions.

What’s the most important climate legislation that could pass in the next year?

If products were required to come with a carbon-footprint label similar to a nutritional label, it would allow consumers to choose what kind of impact they want to make. If one t-shirt has zero emissions and the other has 10 times its weight in emissions, if people knew that, they could vote with their feet and dollars; maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but right now, most people don’t have the opportunity to do that, no matter how much they want to.

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