Energy innovation is the best unilateral climate policy

Posted on Jan 30, 2013

The US can and should take unilateral action on climate change because energy innovation is fundamentally valuable, regardless of what other nations do. Good energy innovation policy emphasizes basic and applied research at the pre-commercial stages. Government funding is worthwhile across a range of industries because returns from early-stage research are often too speculative and long-term to attract private investment, and because the knowledge created by breakthroughs is spread widely instead of being captured by the inventor. The US government has a strong track record of effectively funding this type of research, using relatively small sums of money in an apolitical way, such as with ARPA-E. AEIC agrees strongly that good innovation policy is the key to low-carbon future, although AEIC differs with the author about what good innovation policy entails.

The op-ed, written in the National Review by Oren Cass, can be read here.