"If you think current conflicts are all-consuming, imagine what happens when we add food shortages, water shortages, stronger storms, longer droughts, steady rises in sea-levels, which are already being predicted, and entire countries swallowed by the sea. […] We don’t have to sit here and wait for this to happen. If we accelerate the transition towards clean energy solutions – we have the technology, we have the knowledge.”
Continued use of fossil fuels triggers increasingly permanent damage with regards to climate change. Yet, there is growing acknowledgment that fossil fuels remain hard to displace. What, then, can – or should – be done to address this ‘confronting paradox’? This question was at the heart of the talk by Professor Robert H Socolow of Princeton University, US visited the University of Queensland, Australia in February this year. The talk was attended by people with diverse interests – energy and mining industries, management consulting, academia and others.
On May 1st to 2nd 2016, the G7 Energy Ministers together with the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy met at Kitakyushu, Japan to discuss developments since their 2015 Hamburg meeting, especially against the background of volatile energy prices and the Paris Agreement.
Mission Innovation is an initiative by twenty leading countries to double their Research & Development budgets for clean energy innovation in the next five years. In this opinion piece, Johannes Ackva lays out why this new initiative is an essential complement to carbon-pricing and deployment policies and should receive far more attention in the future.