Time for a Climate Agreement on Innovation, not Targets

With the Paris climate talks quickly approaching it is time to admit an indisputable fact: carbon targets designed to lower global emissions are not working. Rather than trying to convince nations to impose the costs of more expensive clean energy on their citizens, it is time to raise the white flag on carbon targets and present a new approach that will actually help mitigate climate change: driving technological innovation to make clean energy affordable for all. In particular, high-income and emerging economies should commit to investing at least 0.15 percent of national gross domestic product in clean energy research, development and demonstration. Doing so would provide a $75 billion boost to clean energy innovation, an Apollo-like investment on a global scale that could quickly advance technology development in areas such as energy storage, solar, wind and nuclear.