July 30, 2019
Why Innovation Is Essential to Addressing Climate Change
Most policy proposals for addressing climate change address only domestic emissions. But as AAF’s Director of Energy Policy Philip Rossetti notes, these proposals ignore the fact that the majority of future emissions and emissions growth will come from poorer, developing countries—countries that will have little desire to hamstring their economies with expensive carbon mitigation policies. Innovation is the missing element in climate policy proposals, Rossetti contends, as it is essential to making greenhouse gas abatement cheap even for developing nations.
Truly effective climate policy needs to go beyond a U.S.-centric approach and deliver solutions that are viable even in countries where residents have only a fraction of the wealth of a typical American. So long as the costs of mitigating climate change remain high, garnering international cooperation to address the global problem will remain a herculean effort. Policymakers’ efforts would be better served by directly focusing on the problem: how to create a market environment that stimulates technological innovation for deploying cost-effective solutions to climate change. Only by bringing the cost of carbon mitigation down through innovation will global it become possible to forge a binding global agreement that successfully mitigates climate change.