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Harnessing Capitalism for Climate Action – Raquel Schreiber

Turning Economic Structures into Tools for Positive Climate Impact

Podcast Summary

Raquel Schreiber has spent her career launching some of today’s most challenging climate technologies. With a background in both engineering and business, she has played a pivotal role advising and supporting a number of innovative deep tech startups – from battery development at Tesla to AgTech at Aigen to synthetic biology solutions at C16 Biosciences. 

In this episode, Raquel reflects on some of the toughest technologies she’s helped bring to market and hypothesizes how we can use capitalism as a tool for positive climate impacts:

  • SpaceX gurus may ponder how we might someday terraform Mars, but what about terraforming land right here on Earth? That’s exactly what Raquel is trying to do as a Strategic Advisor at Aigen. The IoT & robotics startup is working to address soil degradation and improve farming practices to turn all soil back into a carbon sink. 
  • Raquel says that she never saw Tesla as a car company, but rather as a battery company. During her time there, she spearheaded battery development programs that would come to shape the industry. Her goal was always to create battery demand for cars in order to ensure that there is sufficient supply chain to feed renewable energy. 
  • Palm oil is the world’s biggest flex crop — used in everything from beauty products to shelf-stable foods to healthcare. However, farming palm oil often means clearcutting rainforests, one of our planet’s best carbon sinks. While at C16 Biosciences, Raquel helped develop a synthetic biology alternative to palm oil in hopes of preserving precious rainforest resources. 
  • How can we use capitalism as a tool to help the world? This has been Raquel’s mission statement throughout her career. It has led her to focus on promoting financially preferable alternatives to climate-detrimental norms. By bringing these alternatives to market, we can create sustainable options that make economic sense.

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