What Might Man-Induced Climate Change Mean? [Excerpt]
Society, Science and Climate Change [Excerpt]
The Cost of Combating Global Warming
Toward a Real Global Warming Treaty
Stick with Kyoto: A Sound Start on Global Warming
What Makes Greenhouse Sense?
What to Do About Climate Change
Copenhagen's Inconvenient Truth
How to Salvage the Climate Conference
The Low-Carbon Diet
How the Market Can Curb Climate Change
Globalizing the Energy Revolution
How to Really Win the Clean-Energy Race
Tough Love for Renewable Energy
Making Wind and Solar Power Affordable
Cleaning Up Coal
From Climate Culprit to Solution
How Big Business Can Save the Climate
Multinational Corporations Can Succeed Where Governments Have Failed
How Washington Can Bolster a Stronger Climate Deal
Why Municipalities Are the Key to Fighting Climate Change
The Geopolitics of the Paris Talks
The Web of Alliances Behind the Climate Deal
The Problem With Climate Catastrophizing
The Case for Calm
Climate Catastrophe Is a Choice
Downplaying the Risk Is the Real Danger
Paris Isn't Burning
Why the Climate Agreement Will Survive Trump
Why Trump Pulled the U.S. Out of the Paris Accord
And What the Consequences Will Be
Trump's Paris Agreement Withdrawal in Context
The Polarization of the Climate Issue Continues
The world faces a daunting array of energy challenges. Oil remains indispensable to the global economy, but it is increasingly produced in places that present big commercial, environmental, and geopolitical risks; greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere; and the odds that the world will face catastrophic climate change are increasing. These problems will only worsen as global demand for energy rises.
Environmental advocates and security hawks have been demanding for decades that governments solve these problems by mandating or incentivizing much greater use of the many alternative energy sources that already exist. The political reality, however, is that none of this will happen at the necessary scale and pace unless deploying clean energy becomes less financially risky and less expensive than it currently is. This is particularly true in the developing world.
A massive drive to develop cheaper clean-energy solutions is necessary. Indeed, many claim that it has already begun -- just not in the United States. They warn that the United States is losing a generation-defining clean-energy race to China and the other big emerging economies.
They are right that the United States is dangerously neglecting clean-energy innovation. But an energy agenda built on fears of a clean-energy race could quickly backfire. Technology advances most rapidly when researchers, firms, and governments build on one another's successes. When clean-energy investment is seen as a zero-sum game aimed primarily at boosting national competitiveness, however, states often erect barriers. They pursue trade and industrial policies that deter foreigners from participating in the clean-energy sectors of their economies, rather than adopting approaches that accelerate cross-border cooperation. This slows down the very innovation that they are trying to promote at home and simultaneously stifles innovation abroad.
To be sure, clean-energy innovation alone will not deliver the energy transformation the world needs. It can drive down the cost of clean energy and narrow the price gap between clean and dirty sources, but it is unlikely to make clean energy consistently cheaper than fossil fuels
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