Zero Carbon Virginia is a group of scientists, engineers, economists, public health experts, and concerned citizens who seek a path towards a zero-carbon energy future.
Our mission is to engage with public officials to promote non-partisan policy solutions to mitigate the economic, environmental and social costs of fossil fuels. We emphasize pragmatic, cost-effective approaches for a sustainable energy economy.
To get to zero carbon, Virginia energy legislation must:
- Establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals across Virginia’s economy that target near net-zero emissions by 2050, including the electric power, transportation, industrial, agricultural, building, and infrastructure sectors.
- Establish a mandatory Clean Energy Standard (CES) for the electric power sector, leading to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
- Require modernization of the electric industry’s structure and regulation with the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Establish the entities, structure and binding processes necessary to implement and ensure compliance with legislative directives and a Clean Energy Standard.
- Require that selected pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions optimize Virginia’s economic development and create quality jobs, based on technical, policy, and economic analysis.
- Ensure mitigation of the negative impacts of climate change as well as the energy transition on disadvantaged communities and prioritize investment in these communities.
Much of what is needed to accomplish zero carbon is already available and represents an opportunity to drive economic growth for Virginia. The main barrier to progress comes from the laws and policies that govern Virginia’s energy economy. So, it is change in Richmond that will set Virginia on the path to zero carbon.
Thus, Zero Carbon Virginia aims to inform, educate, and motivate people across Virginia to engage in the political process and let Richmond know that the time for change is now – it is time to embrace the power sector of the future.
Thank you for joining us.
Meet the Team
Scott Emery is an engineer and business leader with an interest in creating solutions to climate change based on sound science and economics. Scott is an energy efficiency consultant and an advocate for the geothermal heating and cooling industry. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and Michigan State University, respectively. He is a member of ASHRAE and is a Virginia Licensed Professional Engineer.
Karel Svoboda is a physicist and neuroscientist, with an interest in science and technology policy. Karel received his PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Sarah Ali received her Masters in Health Policy and Management from Harvard School of Public Health. She is an enthusiastic early adopter of solar technology and electric vehicles. Sarah’s interest in energy policy is shaped by her awareness of the impact of fossil fuel-based energy production on public health, both as a professional and the mother of two children.
Vladyslav “Vlad” Ovchynnikov has been a resident of Virginia since 1999, ever since moving to the United States from his native Ukraine. His background is in Computer Science, but his passion is in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric mobility. Vlad is a proud owner of a solar array, an early adopter of electric vehicles, and always happy to proselytize about the benefits of both.
Dan Turner-Evans researched solar energy technologies during his PhD in Applied Physics at Caltech. He holds two patents for photovoltaic related processes and helped to found Caelux, a solar cell start up company.
Alice Robie is a research scientist who has a BS in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science from Brandeis University and a PhD from Caltech. She’s currently applying Machine Learning to the analysis of animal behavior. Alice wants to identify and advocate for technologies and policies that will reduce the impact of climate change on our environment and society.
Harrison Crecraft’s background in geology brings him a global perspective and a deep interest in environmental and economic sustainability. He spent his career in geothermal power generation and then in geothermal heating and cooling after moving to Virginia 25 years ago. He received his PhD from the University of Utah and his BS from Brown University, both in geology, and an MS in Computational Sciences from George Washington University.
Leslie Sansom Emery is a writer and editor with experience working in nonprofit, freelance, and business environments. A 30-year resident of Virginia and mom of college-aged twins, she holds a Bachelor of Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and is a dedicated community volunteer who puts her energy toward issues that protect people and the planet.
Suhas Subramanyam is an entrepreneur, investor, and policy expert who has advised Presidents and Members of Congress on technology, infrastructure and economic empowerment. He is currently a Partner at Global Corridor Group, where he helps catalyze technology, transportation and infrastructure projects and investments around the globe. Suhas served two years at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he advised President Obama on all aspects of technology and innovation, most notably infrastructure policy, economic development in rural and underserved areas, and improving government services and policy processes. He is a resident of Ashburn, Virginia, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter and remains an active member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn. He holds a J.D. from Northwestern University.
Richard Clayton worked for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as an economist for 40 years. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Economics from Ohio University. While at BLS, he led the development of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the short-lived Green Goods and Services Survey.
Nathan Soules is a software/systems engineer with a BS in Computer Science from George Mason University. A Virginia resident for over 25 years, he’d like to see Virginia do its part to prevent climate change and be competitive in a clean energy economy.
Emily Keller has nearly 15 years of experience in the natural gas industry at a major oil and gas company and large utility. She is passionate about finding and supporting climate change solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.