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America has successfully launched national innovation missions time and again. These missions have delivered life-saving drugs, sparked the computer and internet revolutions, and put humans on the moon. Most recently, the US government has poured billions of dollars into a national innovation campaign to help pharmaceutical companies develop vaccines and therapeutics for covid-19.
Writing in MIT Technology Review, Varun Sivaram, Colin Cunliff, and Julio Friedmann argue that, despite all these achievements, the United States has not launched a mission to counter "the gravest threat of our time: climate change." It is time for America to finally lead in this field. and launch a National Energy Innovation Mission to confront the climate crisis and lead the transition to clean energy. We can achieve this by redoubling investments in clean-energy innovation and recommitting to our promises abroad. Thus, the United States can leverage its most important tools and push forward with the development of technologies essential for deep decarbonization.