We need new kinds of leaders to solve the climate crisis and 100 of the most influential are on this year’s list from Time magazine. Jennifer Wilcox, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy in Penn Engineering, is listed for her work in carbon capture and storage and her leadership in transitioning to clean energy solutions. Wilcox is currently on sabbatical from her position at Penn while she serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). While at the DOE, she has worked to re-align the U.S. Executive Branch toward working with the energy industry on carbon reduction. To help the country shift toward sustainable energy resources specific to geographical regions, Wilcox brings to the White House decades of work on decarbonizing industrial heating and cooling, direct air capture of carbon dioxide and carbon mineralization, core research areas at Penn’s Clean Energy Conversions Laboratory.
When asked by Time what the single most important action that can be taken in the next year to advance the climate agenda, Wilcox answered:
“Our changing climate is a result of our relationship with energy. We need to move away from singular solutions that restrain a broadened portfolio of energy resources. For society to universally meet affordable energy needs, we should engage with communities and regions in ways that are specific to their needs. Each region has a unique portfolio of energy resources and necessities. Each requires a uniquely designed set of solutions that will minimize environmental and climate impacts of energy resource production and use, and provide financial structure to enable implementation.”
Read more about her work and why she is on Time’s 100 Climate list here.