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On Thursday, September 17, Axios' Amy Harder hosted a conversation on the growth of clean energy and sustainability, featuring Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Amazon's Head of Worldwide Sustainability Kara Hurst.

Gov. Inslee discussed efforts within Washington to address climate change, its impact on fires in Washington state and the role of renewable energy in the state.

  • On the role of climate change in recent fires: "These fires are incredibly cataclysmic. The solution to this, of course...[is that] we need to reduce this climate change. It is the ultimately cataclysmic situation we face in Washington."
  • On President Trump's attitude to renewable energy: "He has tried to throw up a roadblock against any development of renewables industries. He's got an allergy to good ideas and infatuation with deception. He's downplayed climate change, just like he downplayed COVID."

Kara Hurst unpacked Amazon's aims to hit carbon neutrality in 2040 and its efforts to help companies develop climate-friendly technologies through a $2 billion venture fund.

  • On partnering with oil and gas producers to achieve climate change goals: "Amazon, like every other company you just mentioned — Google, Microsoft, many tech companies — works across a wide variety of industries. And I believe it's absolutely necessary to work with those types of industries to create transformation."
  • On recent research at Amazon on the sustainability of online shopping: "Online grocery deliveries can generate 43% lower carbon emissions per item as compared to shopping in stores."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Vinson & Elkins Head of Renewables Practice Group Kaam Sahely, who discussed the surge in demand for renewable energy and the growth of the sector.

  • "The demand [for renewable energy] is almost insatiable. It's not that it's completely without regards to government regulation...The demand for renewable energy continues to rise."

Thank you Vinson & Elkins for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

How to judge America’s climate-change responsibility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Historically, America has emitted the most greenhouse gases of any country in the world. But over the next 80 years, the U.S. may account for as little as 5% of such emissions.

Why it matters: Installing technologies to address climate change will, therefore, be most critical in places other than America where emissions’ growth is expected to be higher, according to physicist Varun Sivaram.

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 16 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.