Conversations on Climate

Season 2: Episode 15 – In conversation with Professor Jane Stoutt

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In this episode of the Conversations on Climate Podcast Professor Jane Stout talks to Chris Caldwell about biodiversity, natural capital accounting, and bridging the economy-ecology divide.

So many of the tenets of modern economics from commodification and simplification to substitution and maximisation seem to run counter to foundational truths of ecology such as holism, complexity, and the incommensurability of value.

As we face both the climate crisis and the sixth mass extinction (in large part due to the excesses of capitalism) we have to wonder if there is a way back.

Can economics and ecology work together again?

This episode’s guest believes so. Jane Stout Professor of Botany and VP of Biodiversity and Climate Action at Trinity College Dublin – is a deep domain expert in the academic field of ecology and biodiversity, with over 120 papers and €4 million in research funding to her name.

She is also a leading figure in influencing nature and climate policy in her home country, particularly by engaging economically as co-founder of Natural Capital Ireland.

“… you think about your petri dish of soil or your spoonful of soil from the ground … there’s connections in that little ecosystem, but there are connections across the whole world and everything’s connected.”

“… the ecological viewpoint of connectivity about humans being part of nature, about the physical environment and the living environment being intricately intertwined, has, of course, shaped everything I do and everything that I think about.”

“… I think being an ecologist gives you a fantastic perspective. It’s kind of overwhelming, but it does give you that perspective about the fundamental importance of nature in our lives and that connectivity.”

“…and I like to think of sustainability as as as the sort of the wedding cake idea of the environment: the biosphere, the living world underpinning our societies which underpin our economies.”







This week’s episode includes:

Section one: the origins of an ecological perspective

Section two: why biodiversity matters (for business too)

Section three: confronting global extinction

Section four: Montreal, 30×30 and the Biodiversity COP breakthrough

Section five: understanding the climate-biodiversity nexus

Section six: biocircularity, natural capital, and the limits of growth


Conversations on Climate is a podcast produced by United Renewables in association with the London Business School Energy Alumni Club. 

It brings together the best minds from academia and business, to offer their experience and expertise in the face of climate change –from game theorists to corporate diplomats, and oil industry veterans to micro-algae entrepreneurs. 

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We talk about how the scope of the challenge before us is beyond that of any one individual or any one solution. We listen to thinkers, researchers, policymakers, and business leaders. They discuss a diversity of ideas and solutions to global climate and environmental issues and why they matter.

Season 2 is presented by Chris Caldwell and produced by UNITED RENEWABLES in association with LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL, ALUMNI ENERGY CLUB.

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