The Net Zero Life

#23 Hacking Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis with Gavin McCormick, Executive Director of WattTime

May 10, 2022

How does one go from teaching in Namibia to founding one of the most audacious climate change programs in the world? Well, in Gavin McCormick's case he was convinced to attend a hackathon which led him to discover automated emissions reductions (AER) and in relatively short order to work with Al Gore to measure all of the world's emissions in real time through Climate TRACE.

In the first episode of season three, Gavin shares his story of how he become the co-founder and Executive Director of WattTime and the lessons he learned along the way.

Gavin McCormick is cofounder and Executive Director of WattTime, the not-for-profit tech startup that invented Automated Emissions Reduction (AER) technology. AER is software that causes IoT devices  He is also cofounder and Electricity Co-Lead of Climate TRACE, an open collaboration between over 50 collaborating nonprofits, tech companies, and universities. 

Climate TRACE teams are applying computer vision and machine learning to satellite imagery and big data to monitor all major sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.  Gavin dropped out of a PhD program in environmental economics at UC Berkeley to found WattTime. In 2021, Climate TRACE was named a TIME Magazine invention of the year.

You can learn more about WattTime on their website, If you’d like to get in touch with Gavin you can follow him on LinkedIn. His TED talk on "Tracking the whole world's carbon emissions — with satellites and AI" from the TED Countdown conference in November 2021.

Season three of The Net Zero Life 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

Keep up with the show by following The Net Zero Life on Twitter and Instagram (@thenetzerolife). You can also get in touch at or via email at

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