EFI Founder Ernest Moniz joined the annual Science | Business membership conference last month to offer his perspective on broader ambitions for climate technologies. The high-profile and private webinar hosted over 1,000 attendees, including three European commissioners.
In conversation with the Editor-In-Chief and Vice Chair of the Board, Richard L. Hudson, Moniz called for a decade of supercharged innovation for climate control. Specifically, Moniz emphasized the need for the United States to develop technological advancements, such as carbon dioxide removal and nuclear power, in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and eventually reverse carbon dioxide levels.
To do so, Moniz elaborated, the world needs to incorporate optionality and flexibility in their innovation agenda. In other words, the solutions to mitigate climate risk are going to look different across different countries and regions around the world. Therefore, “we need to offer every low carbon tool [available to us] to allow maximum optionality and flexibility.”
The world must consider novel technologies such as nuclear power and carbon storage. The major shift in U.S. political power could bring about impactful climate action as the country reenters the Paris agreement, which includes increased government spending on climate innovation. Although the United States and Europe are investing more money in these climate technologies, Moniz believes we need to ‘triple’ the amount of funding in order to spark a decade of supercharged innovation.
Fortunately, the United States is headed in the right direction. Moniz recalled the recent Presidential election, noting that for the first time, the Democratic Party chose climate as “a winning political issue in a campaign.” American attitudes toward climate are shifting, ushering in a new age of tougher climate policies and effective climate action.
Watch the full interview here.
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