Climate Change Solution: Invest in Tech

Ted Nordhaus, chairman of the Breakthrough Institute, a nonprofit environmental think thank.

Nov 25, 2009
Outside Magazine
Ted Nordhaus

Ted Nordhaus

China and India won't embrace binding emissions limits. But that's the old paradigm, which focused on target=s and timetables. There's a new paradigm where we move from abstract—unenforceable—reduction commitments to direct actions that change the underlying technologies that are the source of carbon dioxide. For example, how many plug-in hybrids is China going to have by 2015? I would judge success in Copenhagen based on our commitment to developing low-carbon energy technology. We're going to see some mix of the old paradigm and the new: The EU will continue to focus on emissions-reduction target=s; the U.S., Canada, and Australia, less so; and China and India will agree to make changes in their energy economies and transportation systems, and we'll count that as their commitment. Bottom line: We need to get people to deploy as much clean energy as we possibly can. We're not going to wag the energy-technology dog with the pollution-control tail.

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