The Net Zero Life

#21 Global Citizenship with Andrea Johnson, Executive Director of Green Empowerment

November 9, 2021

There are many reasons we as humans should work to achieve net-zero emissions. One of those reasons is to improve the lives of individuals who occupy planet earth. Today on the show we learn from an expert who has a different way to move the world closer to net-zero, one that focuses on environmental justice and the role of being a global citizen.

Is it fair that less developed countries who have emitted negligible emissions should be the most impacted by climate change including rising sea levels, more frequent and forceful tropical storms, and then not be given funding to adopt to the new climate they have to face? 

To answer these question and more I’m speaking with Andrea Johnson, Executive Director of Green Empowerment, Green Empowerment’s  mission is to bring renewable energy and clean water to rural communities globally. The heart of Green Empowerment’s model is authentic partnership. They collaborate with in-country organizations that know the local language and culture and have a long-term commitment to the region. Following their partners lead, they design systems that are built and maintained by the communities themselves and they focus heavily on training, providing technical expertise to community members and partner staff to build lasting capacity.

We discuss Andrea's journey from NASA to The Peace Corps to Green Empowerment, how she worked to launch the first payment for ecosystems services – paying landowners to protect their forests – and how Green Empowerment is bringing the world closer to net-zero emissions by identifying indigenous leaders and methodologies that enable access to zero-carbon energy and clean water. 

You can learn more about Green Empowerment on their website,

Season two is powered by Climate People. If you are a software developer or recruiter looking to get into climate tech, Climate People is the best place to start. You can reach Brendan Anderson, CEO of Climate People, at

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