Climate change is here. It is harming people, their livelihoods, their communities, and the global environment. The damage will get worse unless global society curtails and ultimately eliminates greenhouse gas emissions.
That is a tall order. People everywhere greatly value affordable and reliable energy—and that is what fossil fuels offer. They are dirty, but they are also cheap to extract, and their energy is delivered affordably and reliably to diverse end users on a mind-boggling scale. So, the sobering reality is that unabated fossil fuel-based systems will not be fully displaced until clean systems match or improve upon them in price and performance. Despite encouraging progress, this goal is far from being reached for many important uses, including in manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, and electricity.
Innovation to make energy both clean and competitive therefore must be a central goal of climate and energy policy. ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation exists to elevate this imperative in the policy debate in the United States and around the world. We conduct research, provide nonpartisan analysis, generate policy proposals, and convene members of the analytical and policymaking communities with this mission firmly in focus.
Our work covers all economic sectors that need climate solutions, embraces a wide array of potential solutions, and advances a variety of policy tools to accelerate their development and deployment. Greater public investment in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) is one of the most important of these tools, but it must be complemented by smart regulation, well-targeted tax incentives, ambitious public procurement, and many other policies if clean energy and climate technologies are to reach their full potential as quickly as the world needs them.
Although the transition to net-zero emissions will be difficult, it will also create huge economic opportunities for entrepreneurs, workers, regions, and nations around the world. Our work highlights these opportunities and contributes to a vision of a better life for all in a cleaner, safer, more prosperous future. Making such a future happen is our ultimate purpose.