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Protecting Our Planet: Energy Efficiency with David Hochschild & Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Mayor Pekka Timonen & David Hochschild discuss investing in energy efficiency on Monday, Nov. 15 (Video: The Washington Post)

Energy efficiency in buildings is among the most cost-effective ways to clean the air we breathe and reduce costs. Studies estimate about 40 percent of global energy consumption comes from the building sector. On Monday, Nov. 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET, join Washington Post Live for conversations with David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission, and other officials about different models to promote energy efficiency and combat climate change across the country and around the world.

Click here for transcript


“What I think was missing… was the ability to recognize the leadership of cities in delivering decarbonization… This zero-sum game between nation states holds the conversation back because they can’t work with our global interdependence.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I went to a home at one of our housing developments, Ashton Rise… I knocked on the door, the woman that came to the door was a Syrian had come to the U.K. as part of the refugee crisis. As her door opened up in the winter period, heat came out from the door… These are the homes that have ground source heat, she didn’t have the heating turned on, but the efficiency of the home, the source of the heat, the decarbonized source coming from ground source heat was providing… a warm home, which means people aren’t choosing between heating and eating.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The question is not ‘Do you build houses or not?’ We have to build houses. The question is ‘what kind of homes do you build and where do you build them?’ So it does mean we have to build net-zero housing… The challenge for me comes that those can be more expensive to build.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“In our newest energy code that we adopted in August mandates electrification in the building sector and that’s an important step forward as we move beyond fossil fuels.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Pacific Gas and Electric company which is one of the largest gas utilities in the country wrote me a letter in support of an all-electric building code. This is just a sea change in the dynamics.” (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We said to the television manufacturers, ‘You can’t sell into our market of 40 million people, the fifth largest economy in the world, unless you meet these very stringent standards for your appliance.’ And that cut the energy use of TVs in half, saves a billion dollars a year.” (Video: Washington Post Live)

David Hochschild

David Hochschild was appointed chair of the California Energy Commission by Governor Gavin Newsom in February 2019. He fills the environmental position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members are required by law to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law.

Chair Hochschild's career has spanned public service, environmental advocacy, and the private sector. He first got involved in the solar energy field in 2001 in San Francisco as a special assistant to Mayor Willie Brown where Chair Hochschild launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He also cofounded the Vote Solar Initiative, a 60,000-member advocacy organization promoting solar policies at the local, state, and federal levels. He was executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

For his work to advance clean energy, Chair Hochschild was awarded the Sierra Club’s Trailblazer Award, the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Hero Award, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roof True Champion Award. Chair Hochschild holds a bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College and a master of public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees was first elected mayor in May 2016. On that day, Bristol became the first major European city to have elected a mayor of black African heritage. He describes becoming mayor as another expression of a deeper commitment to building a fairer, more inclusive world.

He began his working life with Tearfund, one of the UK’s leading international development agency. He went on to spend time working in the US with Sojourners, a Washington D.C. based social justice organisation, and President Clinton’s advisor Rev Dr Tony Campolo. On returning to the UK he worked with BBC Bristol as a Broadcast Journalist, with the Black Development Agency supporting the BME-led voluntary sector and NHS Bristol’s Public Health team on Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health.

During the same period, he completed his first Master’s in Political Theory and Government, and a second in Global Economic Development. He also had a number of public appointments including the National Community Forum, became a Yale World Fellow and co-founded the City Leadership Programme.

Marvin was born and brought up in Bristol by his mother, moving between St Pauls, Lawrence Weston and Easton. He entered the political world having graduated from Operation Black Vote and Labour Future Candidate programmes. It was there he found open doors where previously there appeared to be none. He was also challenged that the most vulnerable needed people to move beyond merely pointing the failures of world’s political leadership, and take the risk of stepping up to try do something to fix it

Marvin has declared Bristol a City of Hope, built on ambition, inclusion and social justice.

During his first term in office, he oversaw the building of almost 9,000 homes, announced the development of a mass transit system and provided quality work experiences for over 3,500 children who wouldn’t readily have access. Bringing fairness to the city council, he has achieved accredited Living Wage Employer status, and introduced Ban the Box. He led the successful bid to bring Channel 4 to Bristol and is leading the city’s response to both the climate and ecological emergencies. Building a compassionate city, he has kept all children’s centres and libraries open and led city-wide campaigns on period poverty and child hunger. Working with partners, he coordinated Bristol’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and planned the city’s recovery.

After serving an extended five-year first term due to the coronavirus pandemic, Marvin was re-elected as Mayor in May 2021.

He lives in Bristol with his wife and three children.

Content from ROCKWOOL

The following content is produced and paid for by a Washington Post Live event sponsor. The Washington Post newsroom is not involved in the production of this content.

(Video: Washington Post Live)

Buildings: The Key To Climate Action

In a segment sponsored by ROCKWOOL, Jens Birgersson, President and CEO of ROCKWOOL discusses the crucial link between climate action and reducing energy demand, particularly as it pertains to buildings. Buildings are responsible for substantial global emissions (40 percent), and it won’t be possible to achieve climate goals without reducing building-related energy consumption and emissions. Doing so is entirely possible utilizing well-known and widely available building materials and practices, and thus is not dependent on developing exotic new technologies. Birgersson will also shed light on different approaches to public policy promoting building renovation in the United States and European Union.

Jens Birgersson

Jens Birgersson became President and CEO of ROCKWOOL Group in 2015. Prior to that, he held numerous executive positions with ABB in Sweden and Switzerland as well as with Imerys in Belgium. He is educated in economics and physics.

Moderated by Chika Oduah

Chika Oduah is an award-winning journalist, poet and writer. In the past 18 years, Oduah’s experience in journalism includes working as a reporter, foreign correspondent, television news producer, videographer and photojournalist in the United States and across Africa. Oduah’s reporting goes beyond the headlines to explore culture, conflict, history, spirituality, human rights and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, the Associated Press, the BBC and other major news outlets. Oduah nurtures a passion for film, literature, traveling, poetry, performance art, women empowerment and learning about cultures around the world.