Lisa P. Jackson is Apple’s head of environment, policy, and social initiatives. Under her leadership she is steering the company to carbon neutrality across its global corporate operations and pushed for suppliers to use renewable energy. This year, Apple announced an up to $200 million investment into its Restore Fund to further support carbon removal projects.
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?
Businesses can lead climate progress by cutting greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain—as much and as fast as we can. We’re approaching our Apple 2030 goal to make every product carbon neutral by reducing emissions from their three biggest sources: electricity, materials, and transportation. Any company can follow that simple blueprint. To address remaining emissions, businesses can drive investment in communities on the front lines of the climate crisis through nature-based carbon removal. I visited a project in Kenya this year that has created women-led grass seed banks, and trained hundreds of local Maasai community members in updated rangeland management techniques to get more value out of the land. Business investment in carbon removal helps make this possible.
What is a climate technology that isn’t getting the attention or funding it deserves?Drastic emissions reductions are possible with today’s solutions—for our carbon neutral Apple Watch, we’ve reduced its emissions by a massive 78%. But there are emissions that simply can’t be avoided with today’s available solutions. One big example is transportation—there just aren’t technologies available at scale that can zero-out emissions from business travel, commute, or shipping. Ramped up innovation and investment can break through those technical and commercial barriers. The potential for more sustainable aviation fuel is there, and there are promising new technologies out there aimed at decarbonizing ocean shipping—accelerated study and investment can help industry tap into this opportunity.
What’s the most important climate legislation that could pass in the next year?
We were glad to see the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act become law in California this year. It requires companies to model, measure, and report on their greenhouse gas emissions across all scopes—something Apple has been doing for the last decade. Transparent climate disclosure is a powerful tool to help businesses understand their impact and drive progress in the fight against climate change, and I see tremendous potential for other states and national governments to follow California’s lead and adopt similar, harmonized standards.
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