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SXSW 2022 – Convenient Fantasies About Climate Change

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"We're running out of time: we can no longer afford to answer inconvenient truths with convenient fantasies."

In August of 2021, the CarbonBetter team devoured a three-part essay by Tariq Fancy, the ex-CIO of Sustainable Investing at Blackrock, which includes the quote above that inspired our session title. As a former top executive at the largest asset manager in the world, Fancy raises several key arguments about fundamental flaws in "sustainable investing" from an insider perspective. CarbonBetter founder and president, Tri Vo, has similarly written about some issues he sees as slowing progress on climate change, including the disconnect between long-term global problems and short-term business stakeholders, and how he sees companies using divestiture as a sustainability strategy.

At CarbonBetter we believe that small steps by many add up to a big impact, and that we won't effectively solve global problems at scale being led primarily by business leaders with short-term fiscal goals and limited tenure, which means we all need to do something and we have to start somewhere.

For many, the 'starting' begins with something as simple as a conversation, and that's why we're speaking at SXSW 2022.

Session Title

Convenient Fantasies About Climate Change

When & Where

March 16, 2022 at 4 pm in Salon F at the Hilton Downtown Austin.

About Our Session

The headlines are full of jargon: net-zero, carbon neutral, energy transition, RSG. What does it all mean, and are we making progress?

The right answers to the wrong questions will get us nowhere in our race to save our planet, and often the headlines are vague and filled with words that make us think smart people are making real progress to solve serious problems.

But in many ways, we aren't making the progress that we need. Solving net-zero math equations to make them balance won't save the planet — we have to actually reduce emissions. Calling something "responsibly sourced" doesn't mean it really is.

In this presentation, three leaders in energy, sustainability, and private equity will share their insider perspectives on the words and concepts that aren't moving us forward — but make us think they are.

Meet the Speakers
Tri Vo, Founder and President of CarbonBetter.
Founder & President, CarbonBetter

Tri's career in energy spans over 10 years, where he worked his way up from entry-level analyst to later founding CarbonBetter. He has repeatedly witnessed the devastating effects of climate change as he guided his energy business through the complicated logistics created by climate aberrations like polar vortexes and record-setting warm winters. These experiences have fueled his passion for helping companies navigate their own transition to net-zero before it’s too late. Read Tri's full bio and stories.

James Wang, Managing Director at Ara Partners.
MANAGing Director, ara Partners

James is focused on global decarbonization efforts. He invests in near-term and long-term improvements in the carbon intensity of key sectors, including industrial & manufacturing, chemicals & materials, food & agriculture, and energy efficiency & green fuels. Read James's full bio.

Nicole Sullivan, Climate Services Manager at CarbonBetter.
Climate Services Manager, CarbonBetter

Nicole has twelve years of environmental and sustainability experience as an Environmental Engineer. She has an extensive background in environmental and sustainability consulting, and voluntary and mandatory air quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting. Over the last ten years, she has provided strategic consulting services within a range of industry sectors, including petrochemical, oil and gas, railroad, and manufacturing. Read Nicole's full bio and stories.