Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

Climate Breakdown Podcast

Together with host Mathieu Blondeel, assistant professor at VU Amsterdam, you will learn about some of the most important, complex and urgent climate-related issues at a planetary level.

On this journey, we are joined by world-leading experts from VU Amsterdam and beyond who study these challenges from many angles. From COP28 in Dubai to the court in The Hague, we hear more about the many dimensions of how scientists, activists and practitioners try to understand and find solutions to the climate crisis.

‘Climate Breakdown’ is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, and produced by PodKasteel. Subscribe, listen and engage!

Beyond the Climate Crisis

Beyond the Climate Crisis

It is clear that we are not just in the midst of a climate crisis. A lot more is at stake. Last year, environmental scientists warned that the earth is now ‘well outside the safe operating space for humanity.’ 

In this podcast, a conversation with Kristiaan Kok, Assistant Professor at VU Amsterdam about the environmental, social and economic impacts of the global food system, as well its relation to the climate crisis. 

Listen to Climate breakdown
Kristiaan Kok


  • Episode 1 – A World on Fire? The State of the Climate

    2023 was the hottest year on record. The extreme weather events that we have witnessed will become more common and more severe as the Earth further warms. What is ‘the state of the climate’ as we enter a new year? What can we expect in the (near) future and what can be done about it?

    In this episode, Mathieu is joined by professor of climate change and adaptation Bart van den Hurk , a world-leading climate scientist. Professor van den Hurk acts as Co-Chair of Working Group II for the IPCC’s seventh assessment cycle. He navigates us through the scientific knowledge on the climate crisis and the fascinating world of the IPCC.

    Listen to the episode 

  • Episode 2 – Lies, Lawyers and Litigation

    There’s a new tool in the toolbox of climate activists: litigation. Increasingly, fossil fuel companies and governments are being sued for their lack of climate action. It makes one wonder, what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking these companies and governments to court?

    In this episode, Mathieu is joined by two guests. VU assistant professor Clemens Kaupa is an expert in climate law. Together with students, he has launched a successful complaint with the Dutch Advertising Code Committee against Shell’s misleading advertising practices. Our second guest, Sjoukje van Oosterhout, is Lead Researcher in Milieudefensie’s ongoing landmark case against Shell.

    Listen to the episode

  • Episode 3 – Beyond the Climate Crisis

    It is clear that we are not only in the midst of a climate crisis. Last year, environmental scientists warned that the earth is now ‘well outside the safe operating space for humanity’ since multiple ‘planetary boundaries’ have been broken.

    This episode is a double whammy, talking about issues beyond the climate crisis: food and biodiversity.

    In part I, Mathieu talks to Kristiaan Kok, assistant professor at the Athena Institute of VU Amsterdam and an expert in food systems governance. Together, they discuss the environmental impacts of the global food system and how to establish sustainable transformations.

    Listen to the Episode

    Ina Lehmann and Marije Schaafsma join Mathieu in part II. Both work at the Institute for Environmental Studies. Ina is an assistant professor in governance of global biodiversity, Marije Schaafsma is an associate professor in environmental economics. Together they discuss the global biodiversity crisis, its links to the climate crisis and how we can try to solve both.

    Listen to the Episode

  • Episode 4 – Science and Activism

    Another two-parter! This is an episode on a hot topic. Can scientists and universities be activists, or must they remain neutral? What does ‘neutrality’ mean in the face of an ever-growing climate crisis, with facts and evidence about causes and consequences so abundantly clear? Does this ‘neutrality’ argument still hold up? Or, in the words of Albert Einstein, does the privilege to know, entail a duty to act?

    In part I, Mathieu is joined by professor Davide Iannuzzi, Chief Impact Officer at VU Amsterdam. He’s been leading the VU’s efforts to rethink its relations with the fossil fuel industry. These efforts resulted in a landmark decision in 2023 to break research ties with the industry.

    Listen to the Episode

    In part II, Mathieu talks to Marthe Wens. As a member of Scientists Rebellion and an assistant professor in water security at the Institute for Environmental Studies of VU Amsterdam, she finds that her research and activism are inextricably linked.

    Listen to the Episode

  • Episode 5 – A World to Win? On Global Climate Politics

    At COP28 in December 2023, negotiators officially agreed for the first time that there is a need to ‘transition away from fossil fuels.’ Mentioning fossil fuels was deemed historic and it supposedly signalled the ‘end of the fossil fuel era’. But how historic is this decision really? And why did it take so long to politically acknowledge the role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis?

    In our final episode, VU professor Philipp Pattberg of the Institute for Environmental Studies joins Mathieu to talk about global climate politics. We try to grasp what makes climate negotiations and finding agreement at the global level so difficult. After all, aren’t we all in the same boat?

    Listen to the Episode