Climate Change, Science

Climate Change Corner: An interview with PhD student Aayushi Awasthy on her podcast ‘Why haven’t we solved climate change yet?’

Aayushi Awasthy is a PhD student in the School of Economics whose focus lies in energy decisions in rural areas. Alongside her studies, she is now working on the release of her seven-episode podcast series centred on the question: ‘Why haven’t we solved climate change yet?’ 

Aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds interested in learning more about climate change, Aayushi describes her podcast as a capsule course administering a “small dose of everything”. Each 40-minute episode is due to be released in weekly instalments in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). Running from 31st October – 12th November in Glasgow, Aayushi hopes to prep people’s understanding of the significance of COP26 in solving climate-related issues. 

Designed around the pivotal question ‘why haven’t we solved climate change yet?’, each episode acts as an answer from a different perspective – for example, the first few cover topics such as finance, technology, and political will.  

Enquiring as to the main drivers behind this project, Aayushi says she believes some of the mainstream conversations surrounding climate change are simply “too science-y”. She aims to combat this by making her project “as accessible to everyone as possible”, so potential listeners “don’t have to come in knowing anything”.  

In interviewing a different scientist in each episode, such as the world-renowned climatologist Professor Colleen Vogel, Aayushi understands some of the subject matter may be too dense. Driven by the firm belief that “communication is half the game”, she has inserted voiceovers to explain and simplify difficult topics. 

With the recording of four episodes now under her belt, Aayushi has made a point to ask the same question of each guest: “how can everyone contribute to climate change?” So far, she says every person she has interviewed has the same answer – no matter the background, training, or career path, everyone has something valuable to bring to the climate change discussion. 

Before starting her PhD at UEA in 2018, Aayushi previously supported the Indian government in calculating their emission pathways. She emphasises her specialisation is more so in economic problems and climate diplomacy rather than science, but the podcast is “100% a passion project”. 

The first episode will be released on 21st September and can be found by searching ‘Why haven’t we solved climate change yet?’ on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

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Dolly Carter

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September 2021
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