Nathan S. Lewis

Nathan S. Lewis

George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry

Nate Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry at Caltech and an international authority on global energy. He was a member of the Panel on Electricity from Renewable Resources as part of the America's Energy Future study led by the US National Academies. He has also served as a member of the California's Clean Energy Future panel and advises government representatives including members of several US administrations as well as members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate.

BREAKING THE WALL OF THE GLOBAL ENERGY CHALLENGE. How A Collaborative Effort Can Prevent A Worst Case Climate Scenario

The term “global energy crisis” still sounds like a vague future scenario, but over the last decade science, policy and the public have slowly come to agree that the threat is real and taking shape right before our eyes. Today, most of our energy needs - roughly 80% - are met by fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. The worldwide energy demand is expected to grow by 35% to 40% in the next 25 years, as economies in emerging countries, but also in the developed industrial nations, continue to grow and globally rising standards of living cause higher per capita energy consumption. Hand in hand with this development, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is growing to dangerous levels. Just before the UN Climate Summit in 2014, a study revealed that more carbon pollution was spewed into the air in 2013 than ever before. Even though climate models vary on the how and when, it is clear that increasing greenhouse gas emissions will sooner or later result in a warming of the planet – with vast and irreversible consequences. Chemist Nate Lewis is a pioneer in artificial photosynthesis and an international authority on global energy, having contributed to countless governmental panels and studies about clean energy, and now leads the dedicated research department at Caltech. At Falling Walls, he provides a unique occasion to understand how we all as members of the scientific, political, technological, and civil society need to cooperate in order to facilitate the one and only priority of our times: saving the planet.