Continued research, innovation and application of technology are essential to enable significant and cost-effective mitigations to climate change risks over the long term.
There are large-scale, proven and affordable technologies available today that can be applied to lower or reduce the growth of global GHGs. Natural gas, energy efficiency, and nuclear technologies can be implemented immediately to help reduce GHG emissions while innovative research continues. This also may include unsubsidized wind energy in jurisdictions where large-scale development can be achieved. Government must enable the development and application of these energy technologies by removing barriers to access, streamlining permitting and ensuring responsible and cost-effective regulation.
Energy efficiency is the most immediate and cost-effective source of “new” energy with no GHG emissions. In addition to government support of energy efficiency efforts, the private sector should increase its own efforts to enhance efficiency in everything from manufacturing and transportation to building management and construction.
Innovative technologies are created and developed through an ecosystem of free markets, university research, government investment, public-private partnership, entrepreneurial venture capital start-ups, and industrial and individual application of new technologies. The development of multiple solutions and pathways will require sufficient time for government and industry to learn from and to apply the outcomes of the research.
Research, development and deployment of technology should be focused on cost-effective climate change adaptation measures and breakthroughs needed to deliver affordable, lower carbon energy solutions that can be adopted globally, at scale and without subsidies. Associated government policies should be technology neutral and support early stage pre-commercial activity to advance needed technology and cost breakthroughs. Continued global research on climate science is also critically important to further our understanding of the complex relationship between GHG emissions and climate and narrow the uncertainty in predictive models.
Policies that enable these dynamic aspects of science, research, innovation and application of technology to address scale, cost and technological barriers will advance the most cost-effective solutions to climate change risks.