Marcelo De Oliveira is vice president of materials science and geology at Brimstone. With 20 years of expertise in earth sciences under his belt, he has been instrumental in developing Brimstone’s carbon-negative cement, which this year became the first such material to receive third-party certification.
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?
The U.S. government needs to use its immense buying power to accelerate the commercialization of technologies that can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the most used industrial materials. This begins with cement, an essential material responsible for 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By entering into long-term advance purchase agreements, the federal government can unlock the industrial-scale financing needed to bring the most transformational, ultra-low-carbon solutions to market.
What sustainability effort do you hope will gain popularity with the general public this year, and why?
All people should feel empowered to contribute to climate solutions and make a positive impact. Begin by learning about everyday actions we can take to help create a more sustainable world. In a professional context, we must advocate for climate-related careers. Encourage individuals to step out of their comfort zones, work on new technologies, adopt a mission-oriented mindset, and shed the fear of risk and failure. These efforts not only benefit our world today, but also leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
What is a climate technology that isn’t getting the attention or funding it deserves?
Cement production emits nearly as much greenhouse gasses as all the world’s cars combined. Yet efforts to decarbonize cement receive only a portion of the funding and attention received by other climate challenges, such as transportation and energy. Companies working to eliminate harmful emissions from cement need additional attention, more financial resources, and talent to help us change the world. Our most valuable resource in solving this problem is people; we urgently need more individuals dedicated to addressing it.
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