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Cleaning Up. Leadership in an age of climate change.

Business & Economics Podcasts

Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Informational, inspiring and fun!

Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Informational, inspiring and fun!


United Kingdom


Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation (and a drink) with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Informational, inspiring and fun!




Ep33: Rt Hon Amber Rudd 'Leading the way from Westminster to Paris'

From the core of British politics, Amber Rudd joins Michael Liebreich for a conversation. She is the former MP for Hastings and Rye representing the Conservative party, the Home Secretary for 2 years from 2016, and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2018 to 2019. Bio Amber Rudd is currently the Chair of the International Advisory Group for Equinor, a major Norwegian energy company. Amber Rudd is also an advisor for several firms in the security and communication...


Ep32: Greg Jackson 'Building the Billion-Customer Energy Company'

Joining Cleaning Up today is start-up legend, Greg Jackson. Greg is CEO and founder of Octopus Energy whose mission is to bring ‘power to the people’ by supplying their customers with 100% green electricity at fair prices. Bio Greg Jackson is the CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, the new renewable energy provider that started in the UK and is now expanding globally. Greg has built one of the fastest growing energy firms – Octopus, with just under 2 million clients is on track to join the...


Ep:31 Emma Howard Boyd 'Climate Change? We'll be in Floods.'

Emma Howard Boyd is one of the leading voices in the UK’s Environment scene. As the Chair of the Environment Agency, she is at the forefront of the current environment agenda. This week, Michael and Emma will discuss everything from recent flooding in the UK to the unique UWC schooling experience. Bio Emma Howard Boyd has been the chair of the UK’s Environment Agency since 2016. The Agency is a public body responsible for the protection and enhancement of the environment in England. She’s...


Ep30: Claire Perry O'Neill 'Ecopragmatism and Policy Innovation'

Having first met in Business School in Harvard, Claire Perry O'Neill and Michael Liebreich go back a long way. However, he has never been surprised at how much she's achieved since then. From finance to politics and now to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, she has been behind some of the key implementations in the UK’s fight to Net-Zero. This week, we have also made it into the Top 10 Climate Change Podcasts:...


Ep29: Steven Chu 'Nobel Hero talks Net Zero'

This week, we welcome Steven Chu, Professor of Physics and Physiology at Stanford University, and the 1997 co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics to Cleaning Up. Professor Chu was was the first of two Secretaries of Energy during President’s Obama term as president, the second being Ernie Moniz, my guest on Episode 17 of Cleaning Up. He is now the Chair of the Board of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Bio Professor Steven Chu is currently William R....


Ep28: Fatih Birol 'Setting the World's Energy Agenda'

Named one of the most influential people in the energy sector by the Forbes magazine and the energy personality of the year by the Financial Times in 2017, Fatih Birol is one of the most important voices in the energy world. He is the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, leading it for the second four-year-term now. Dr Fatih Birol has been instrumental in its modernisation process. He is also one of the few heads of an international organisation who have worked their way up...


Ep27: Beverley Gower-Jones 'Clean Growth Funder'

Beverley Gower-Jones is the leading figure in the cleantech start-up world. She is the Managing Partner at the Clean Growth Fund which invests in the UK's most promising early-stage, clean growth ventures. She’s also the CEO and founder of Carbon Limiting Technologies, helping companies to commercialize new, innovative technologies. Bio Beverley Gower-Jones is the Managing Partner at the Clean Growth Fund, which is backed by, amongst others, the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial...


Ep26: Minister Zac Goldsmith 'Environmental leadership in a post-Brexit world'

More than any other single person, Zac Goldsmith - or The Right Honourable Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park as he is properly known – is responsible for the UK Conservative Party’s relatively recent conversion to the cause of the environment. Bio Zac Goldsmith has devoted his entire professional life to the environment – first as editor of the Ecologist magazine, then as an MP and London Mayoral candidate, and now as a Conservative life peer in the House of Lords, where he serves as...


Ep25: Bryony Worthington 'Putting the Act into climate action'

How do we get climate at the forefront of politics? How can we good data influence the climate transition? In the first episode of the second season of Cleaning Up, Michael Liebreich speaks to Bryony Worthington: a crossbench member of the House of Lords, founder of Ember, and the lead author of the 2008 UK Climate Change Act. Summary: Baroness Bryony Worthington is a Crossbench member of the House of Lords, who has spent her career working on conservation, energy and climate change issues....


Ep24: Holiday Special - A Look Back at Season One

2020 has been a strange and difficult year. In the midst of the global pandemic, Michael decided to reach out to some familiar faces in global climate leadership not only to catch up but also to discuss how the world can move towards a more sustainable and equitable future. In this Holiday Special, we look back at some of the most insightful, revealing, and humorous moments from Series 1 of Cleaning Up. Michael talks to guests including Professor Ernest Moniz, former US Secretary of...


Ep23: James Cameron 'Trade and Sustainability - the Radical in a Suit'

Last but not least, our concluding episode of 2020 is with James Cameron. No not the director, but he is doing radical things in a suit (this will make more sense once you press play). Find out why Tom Paine was an important inspiration for his career, what the WTO needs to do to progress and trade in post-Brexit UK. Bio James Cameron is a barrister, independent adviser and social entrepreneur, and a recognised leader of the global climate change community. He is an expert on sustainability...


Ep22: Robin Chase ‘Mobility, Cities and Social Entrepreneurship’

What is the future of urban transportation in the world’s cities? Will autonomous cars revolutionize our lives? Meet the woman behind the world’s largest car sharing company, Robin Chase, the transport entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Zipcar, Veniam and now, co-founder of NUMO. She is also a public speaker, author and entrepreneur seeking to change the landscape of mobility on a global level. Bio/Introduction Robin Chase is a transport entrepreneur. She has co-founded...


Ep21: Claude Turmes ‘Clean Energy Coalition-builder'

What happens behind the scenes of the EU Parliament? One of the leading figures in European politics, Claude Turmes, the Minister for Energy and Minister for Spatial Planning in Luxembourg, joins Michael Liebreich for episode 21. As a member of the European Green Party and a former Member of the European Parliament for 19 years, Claude has extensive experience representing the parliament in international climate change conferences. Bio/Introduction Claude Turmes has been the rapporteur of a...


Ep20: Richenda Van Leeuwen 'A Life of Energy Access and Inclusion'

As a 10 year old girl, Richenda Van Leeuwen saw a solar panel at the Centre of Alternative Technology on a rainy day in Wales. This would serve as her first point of inspiration for the career ahead of her. Now, she is the Executive Director of Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. In the 20th episode of Cleaning Up, Michael and Richenda cover gender balance in the energy sector, the crucial role electricity access plays in providing healthcare in the Global South as well as ways to...


Ep19: Mike Bennetts 'Leadership from the Heart of the Problem'

From CEO of Z Energy to founding the Climate Leaders Coalition, Mike Bennetts has had an immense impact on New Zealand’s position in reducing emissions in the country. Mike and Michael sit down from other sides of the world for the 19th episode of Cleaning Up. Mike Bennetts is presently the founding Chief Executive of Z Energy Ltd, the company that purchased the downstream (refining and marketing) business of Shell in New Zealand in April 2010 and Chevron in June 2016. As a result of an...


Ep18: Nancy Pfund 'Women backing Winners'

How can venture capital be used to promote social change and environmental improvement? As a leading venture capitalist of her time and one of the early investors in Tesla, find out the drive behind Nancy Pfund’s incredible career, this week, on Cleaning Up. Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, environmental, and economic returns in the regions and sectors in which it...


Ep17: Prof. Ernest J. Moniz 'Innovation and Power'

What would Professor Ernest Moniz, 13th United States Secretary of Energy, say to the 16th Secretary who will be appointed in the coming months? Would he, as the architect of the JCPOA (known better as the Iran nuclear deal) agree with Donald Trump that it was “the worst deal ever negotiated? (Spoiler alert: no). What does he consider to be the most interesting innovations in the energy space? Listen to the special, 17th episode of Cleaning Up to find out! Bio/introduction While the US...


Ep16: Dr Kandeh K. Yumkella 'Sustainable Energy for All'

How did Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella impact the Sustainable Development Goals? How has he influenced energy's position in development? Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella – known as KKY in his native Sierra Leone - is a senior academic and politician. He joins Michael Liebreich this week to talk about his journey from being the Director-General at UNIDO to his political career in Sierra Leone. He is parliamentary leader of Sierra Leone’s National Grand Coalition and an MP representing Constituency 062 in...


Ep15: Auke Hoekstra 'The Debunker-in-Chief'

How can we use data modelling to predict the future of zero-emission energy? This week, Auke Hoekstra discusses the SparkCity model, dealing with, adoption of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and the effects the switch to EVs is going to have on the grid. Auke joins Michael for this week's episode from his self-designed energy positive house in the Netherlands. Not only is he a researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology but also the founder of Zenmo simulations and...


Ep14: Jonathan Maxwell 'Cheaper, Cleaner, More Reliable'

How much energy are data centres using worldwide? Why have lamps been a massive infrastructure revolution? From food waste in olive production in Spain to air pollution, Michael welcomes Jonathan Maxwell into his home for Cleaning Up’s 14th episode! Jonathan Maxwell is the CEO of Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL), an investment firm that set up the UK’s first listed investment trust investing exclusively in energy efficiency - Sustainable Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEEIT)....