News Release

Available Publicly for First Time: Exclusive CERAWeek by IHS Markit Sessions Featuring Bill Gates, Senior U.S. Officials John F. Kerry and Gina McCarthy, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, The Hon. Prime Minister of India and Walter Isaacson

Available Publicly for First Time: Exclusive CERAWeek by IHS Markit Sessions Featuring Bill Gates, Senior U.S. Officials John F. Kerry and Gina McCarthy, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, The Hon. Prime Minister of India and Walter Isaacson

April 29, 2021

Key newsmaker sessions from the world’s preeminent energy conference now available free, on-demand at


Prominent sessions from CERAWeek by IHS Markit 2021—the world’s preeminent energy conference—are now available publicly for the first time at and include newsmaker interviews and addresses featuring:

  • Bill Gates – co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founder of Breakthrough Energy and author of the book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need
  • John F. Kerry – United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
  • Gina McCarthy – United States White House National Climate Change Advisor
  • Jennifer Graholm – United States Secretary of Energy
  • Hon. Shri Narendra Modi – Prime Minister of India
  • Walter Isaacson – Professor of History, Tulane University and author of The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race – a New York Times number one bestseller

“CERAWeek 2021 virtually gathered a global audience of more than 15,000 people for wide-ranging discussions about the future of energy, energy transition, climate and technology,” said Daniel Yergin, conference chair and vice chairman of IHS Markit. “We are now pleased to make some of the most high-profile sessions available to an even wider audience.”

CERAWeek by IHS Markit is the premier annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers, leaders from the technology, financial and industrial communities – and energy technology innovators.

CERAWeek 2021: The New Map: Energy, Climate and Charting the Future, held virtually March 1-5, 2021, marked the 39th edition of the conference and is the first time that it was held as an all-virtual event. The conference is produced by IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

The conference program, inspired by Yergin’s new book, The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations, focused on key themes related to Energy Transition; Geopolitics, Economics and Markets; Investment and Financing; Technology and Innovation; Mobility and the Future Workforce.

Select quotes and direct links to complete sessions follow:

  • Bill Gates

Watch the full video (originally aired March 1, 2021)

Drawing on his decades of work in science, technology and humanitarian aid, Bill Gates offers insights into the breakthrough technologies and pipelines of innovation to address the climate challenge.

On the magnitude of the climate challenge and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050:

“In the history of the industrial economy, things have never changed as fast as we’re asking them to change. It is so radical. Only an entire generation committed to making this a political priority, in at least all the rich countries, for all of those 30 years gives us a chance…the electric grid has to get three times as big. At the same time, it has to stay reliable using mostly intermittent sources, and people don’t want the price to go up. That makes all the electrification done only a small subset of what we’re asking them to do during this 30-year period. And that’s only one area of emission.”

Explaining his new concept of the “Green Premium”:

“The extra cost you pay to buy something that has no emissions above the normal cost—that’s the green premium…. The U.S. and the other rich countries, we owe more to the world than just brute force reducing our emissions by paying high Green Premiums. We have to innovate on behalf of the entire world. If we get the Green Premium in aggregate down by 95% then the idea of subsidizing becomes practical. The Green Premium to me is the metric that says are you on your way to success in 2050?”

On the knowledge and skills that oil companies can apply to green energy:

“Green hydrogen may need to play a very gigantic role. And a lot of the skill sets involved there are from the oil and gas industry: sequestering carbon, taking nuclear waste and burying it ridiculously deep so that people know that for millions of years you don’t have to worry about it—there are skills sets that those companies can bring. Can they help us with biofuels, can they help us with electric fuels? Green hydrogen is more in their skill sets. We need that capability to do complex engineering.”

  • John F. Kerry

Watch the full video (originally aired March 2, 2021)

Over 125 countries have pledged or are considering commitment to net-zero CO2 emissions. Yet few have aligned climate aspirations with policies, laws and regulations to achieve them. Sec. Kerry discusses how United States will lead internationally to ensure that energy demand, climate aspirations and energy security intersect?

On the economic opportunities of addressing climate change:

“We are staring at the opportunity to have the greatest economic transformation since the industrial revolution – certainly since the communications and technology burst of the 1990s. This is the biggest market the world has ever known. It’s a five billion user market today. It’s going to go up to nine billion users over the course of the next 30 years as we grow in population.”

On competition and necessary collaboration with China on climate:

“Yes, there are tensions today that did not exist back then. Now they’re out in the open and it’s no secret that there is strong competition with China. That’s not a problem. We welcome the competition. The United States does well with competition. What we don’t want is an unfair playing field. These things are obviously significant issues and they will exist. But the climate crisis is not something that can fall victim to those other concerns and contests—because China is 30% of all the world’s emissions. It is the number one emitter in the world, we are the number two emitter in the world. There’s no solving this by any one country alone. You have to have China at the table.”

  • Jennifer Granholm:

Watch the full video (originally aired March 3, 2021)

Speaking in her first public forum as energy secretary, Secretary Granholm discusses her vision for the U.S. Department of Energy, the agenda for energy research and innovation, and the Biden Administration’s strategy for net zero by 2050.

Comparing energy transition to her experience as Michigan governor during the auto industry collapse and helping industrial sectors transform:

“In times where the market is raising its hand and saying ‘we’re heading in this direction, you better come along or you’re going to be left behind,’ maybe we should listen to some of those signals. And it’s an opportunity for those who work in these sectors to work with us to diversify into clean energy solutions. This is where ‘the puck is headed’ and it would be great to have partners in making that a successful transition.”

On balancing U.S. oil, gas and energy security with the administration’s clean energy goals:

“It’s clear that we want to have energy security. It is a must. The question really is about how to decarbonize. How do you manage carbon emissions? So many of the DOE labs are focused on this technology, both demonstrating it and taking it to scale. If the goal is to get to net zero by 2050 the question is: what is the technology availability, cost, [and] deployment strategies to get us there?”

  • Gina McCarthy:

Watch the full video: (originally aired March 4, 2021)

As one of the first acts of his Administration, President Joe Biden appointed the Hon. Gina McCarthy to become the first White House National Climate Advisor and lead the domestic climate policy agenda. McCarthy discussed what Biden’s climate strategy will be and how will the United States align long-term goals with short-term actions.

On the Biden administration’s dual priorities of climate change and job creation:

“This is really, in the end, all about transitioning from a time of pandemic to transitioning to what does our future look like? We’ve been devastated, as other countries have been, by COVID-19. So, now’s the time to rebuild, now’s the time to look to the future. Now is the time for us to actually grow jobs, really good union jobs, to advance that middle class that we need to really expand and to show people that the solutions on climate are actually solutions they should embrace for themselves today for growth of jobs, for a more stable economy, and for their health and wellbeing and safety.”

On the Biden administration’s whole-of-government approach to innovation:

“You’re going to see us continue to invest in innovation. The Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation and other parts of the administration have resources that they can put on the table that start building and building the momentum for new ideas and new technologies. We are thinking about nothing left behind, nothing left off the table but beginning to understand, what are the best investments as well as the best deployments?”

On a balanced approach to addressing climate change:

“We’re not in a zero-sum game here. It’s not ‘think about one’ and it’s at a detriment in terms of our ability to invest and get excited about a full range of opportunities…I don’t think it’s a question of thinking that you can’t do enough. It’s a question of investing in everything. I don’t think that we just need to rely on mitigation at every level to the detriment of any risk that we might face in our ability to have a resilient and vibrant energy sector. We’re not going to go down the road of getting to zero if that means we’re impacting our safety, our health, our viability of our essential services. But we do have to think about all of these things and mix and match them while at the same time reducing the emissions on the whole as quickly as we can.”

  • Prime Minister Modi:

Watch the full video (originally aired March 5, 2021)

A keynote address on India’s energy future and the country’s role in the global economy by the Prime Minister of India Hon. Shri Narendra Modi, the recipient of the 2021 CERAWeek Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award in recognition of his commitment to sustainability in energy and the environment.

On the ecological visions of Mahatma Gandhi:

“Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, ‘We may utilize the gifts of nature just as we choose, but in her books, the debits are always equal to the credits.’ Nature keeps [a] simple balance sheet. Whatever is available or credited can be used or debited. But this has to be distributed properly because if we overconsume resources, we are snatching it from someone else. It is on similar lines that India is speaking about climate justice to help fight climate change. Now is the time to think logically and ecologically.”

On the power of behavioral change to fight climate change:

“The most powerful way to fight climate change is behavioral change. There is a very famous story many of you would have heard of. A small child was given a torn world map. The child was told to fix it thinking it could never be done. But the child actually did successfully. When asked how the child did so, the child said, ‘at the back of the world map was a figure of the man.’ All the child did was assemble to a figure of the man. And because of that the world map also got assembled. The message is clear. Let us fix ourselves and the world will be [a] better place. The spirit of behavioral change is a key part of our traditional habits which teaches us consumption with compassion. A mindless throw-away culture is not a part of our ethos.”

On collective behavioral changes in India to promote environmental stewardship:

“The people of India decided to invest LED bulbs on a scale that has never been seen before. As of March 1, 2021, around 37 million LED bulbs are being used. This has saved cost and energy. Over 38 million tons of carbon dioxide have been reduced per year.

“.…A simple request was made to people to give up their LPG subsidy for the benefit of the more needy people. Several people across India voluntarily gave up their subsidy. This played a major role in India being able to provide smoke-free kitchens to [many] households. LPG coverage in India has seen a remarkable growth from 55% in 2014 to 99.6% today. Women have been the major gainers due to this.”

  • Walter Isaacson:

Watch the full video (originally aired March 1, 2021)

Part of the CERAWeek Agora-X Voices of Innovation series, Isaacson—best-selling author of the books Einstein, Steve Jobs, Leonardo Da Vinci and The Innovators—shares insights from his latest book on the Nobel Prize–winning scientist whose discovery of CRISPR, the tool that can edit DNA, opens a brave new world of medical miracles as well as moral questions.

On the “three great innovation revolutions” of our time:

"I do think that there have been three great innovation revolutions of our time all based on the fundamental particles we discovered around 1900, which is the atom, the gene and the bit.

“The atom and Einstein’s papers in 1905 lead us to things like nuclear weapons and GPS and space travel. The bit—or binary digit that can encode any information—leads us to the digital revolution. This new revolution is going to be by using molecules as the new microchips. We can reprogram molecules in order to make our own cells into a manufacturing engine."

On the scientific fundamentals of CRISPR:

“CRISPR is a wonderful technique that bacteria has been using for more than a billion years to fight off attacks from viruses. It takes a tiny genetic sampling of the virus that has attacked them, and it weaves it into these clustered repeats, known as CRISPRs, that are inside the DNA of the bacteria. It is an immune system that is able to fight off each new wave of virus. What Jennifer Doudna and others did is figure out a way to repurpose that so we can edit our own DNA using these wonderful molecules that are guide RNAs to guide as scissors and attack our DNA and cut it as we want to for gene editing or to help use it for vaccines or detection technologies or even cures for coronavirus.”

On the implications of a genetic revolution:

“The advent of coronavirus made me think: Maybe there are many good uses for CRISPR including making us less susceptible to viruses. Certainly, single gene mutations that are clearly bad such as Huntington’s disease, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis – if we can cure those, certainly we should use gene editing for that. The moral question becomes do we make gene edits and reproductive cells so that they are inherited, that we can change all of the human species?”

Visit for instant access to these and other select sessions.

The complete CERAWeek 2021 program—more than 200 sessions—is available via subscription through the end of May. Subscribe to the complete program at

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