May 20, 2019
New Primer: United States Can’t Fix Climate Change on its Own
Climate change proposals such as the Green New Deal seek to reduce the United States’ own greenhouse gas emissions, but these proposals overlook one major aspect of the problem: The United States emits under 15 percent of current global emissions, and that percentage is shrinking every year. In a new primer, AAF’s Director of Energy Policy Philip Rossetti explains why both international cooperation and technological innovation are essential to address climate change.
The United States needs a climate strategy that applies the nation’s finite resources in a way that has the greatest impact on the problem. Because climate change is a global issue requiring coordinated action among different countries with different interests, innovation to make low-carbon energy economically viable must be at the heart of an effective climate change strategy. A serious climate policy must have a plan both for how to reduce emissions at home and for how to ensure that developing nations can access enough low-carbon energy to enjoy the benefits of economic growth. Policies that are purely focused on expending resources domestically, and with no strategy for how developing nations, which cannot afford the expensive climate policies of the West, will adopt them, risk steering resources to a strategy that ultimately has no pathway to success.