Countercyclical energy and climate policy for the US

Nemet, G.F., Grubler, A. ORCID:, & Kammen, D.M. (2016). Countercyclical energy and climate policy for the US. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs). Climate Change 7 (1) 5-12. 10.1002/wcc.369.

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Continuation of the U.S.'s historical pattern addressing energy problems only in times of crisis is unlikely to catalyze a transition to an energy system with fewer adverse social impacts. Instead, the U.S. needs to bolster support for energy innovation when the perceived urgency of energy-related problems appears to be receding. Because of the lags involved in both the energy system and the climate system, decarbonizing the economy will require extraordinary persistence over decades. This need for sustained commitment is in contrast to the last several decades, which have been marked by volatility and cycles of boom and bust. In contrast to the often-repeated phrase that one should 'never let a good crisis go to waste,' the U.S. needs to most actively foster energy innovation when aspects of energy and climate problems appear to be improving. We describe the rationale for a 'countercyclical' approach to energy and climate policy, which involves precommitment to a set of policies that go into effect once a set of trigger conditions are met.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Transitions to New Technologies (TNT)
Bibliographic Reference: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change; 7(1):5-12 [January/February 2016] (Published online 21 October 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:25

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