This is how we build a zero-emission economy
I recently wrote a white paper on the investments and policies we need to get to net-zero as quickly as possible.
October 29, 2021
If we are to avoid a climate disaster, we need to find better ways to do pretty much everything. Almost every part of modern life, from the food we eat to the buildings we live in, releases greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. We need to eliminate these emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
I am optimistic that we can do it, but we have to overcome a serious obstacle: green technologies are at a competitive disadvantage with the approaches they must replace. Generally, innovations that represent a significant improvement over previous ones are widely adopted. The internet is a great example. When I was a kid, I had to spend an afternoon in the library if I wanted to research a new topic. Today I can simply take my smartphone out of my pocket and find what I want to know in seconds.
But green technologies don’t work that way. Their improvements are mostly invisible. The electrons from a wind turbine don’t make your lights work any better than the electrons from a coal-fired power plant, and a house built with zero-carbon concrete will look no bigger to you. Also, most green alternatives right now are more expensive than their carbon-emitting counterparts. I don’t think many people are willing or able to pay more for the exact same product that they can buy now for less.
The solution is to lower the Green awards, make net-zero technologies as affordable as the carbon-emitting versions available today and create incentives for adoption. I recently wrote a white paper on the investments and policies we need to make it happen as quickly as possible. Hope you will check.