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Is a post-Copenhagen roadmap emerging?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ANNUAL MEETING 2010 DAVOSOver the past few years, there have been a couple of major approaches for dealing with climate change:

  • Use political tools to set emissions targets (e.g., 80% reduction by 2050);
  • Invest heavily in green technology to drive green energy prices lower.  Only then will these technologies take hold. Carbon reductions are an important byproduct but not the main goal.

Of course these are not mutually exclusive, but they might as well be given the way they have played out on the political stage.

With a lot of people down on political solutions to deal with climate change, strong advocates of the latter approach may now gain the upper hand.  Folks like Shellenberger and Nordhaus have been arguing that green energy needs to be produced as quickly and cheaply as possible—forget all of the games with cap and trade or carbon taxes.   Tom Friedman has also argued the need for swift action on energy, while also endorsing political solutions like carbon taxes.

If you look for areas that are gaining or have the potential to gain traction, there seem to be two levers that may work:

Both of these general concerns have attracted Republican support for green energy and climate change mitigation, including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

This may be a signal of potential game changers and the clearest path forward that we’ve seen in awhile.

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Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

One Response to “Is a post-Copenhagen roadmap emerging?”

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  1. [...] a previous post, I mentioned that it’s worth listening to Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to understand what might move [...]

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