A new bipartisan paper released today called “Climate Pragmatism,” co-authored by a broad range of energy and climate policy thought leaders, adds to the large and growing energy innovation consensus. In response to the ongoing gridlock in domestic and international climate negotiations, the paper outlines a new climate strategy focused on three areas — energy innovation, resilience to extreme weather, and “no-regrets” pollution reduction — which the authors believe can guide a more productive and pluralistic approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. As the press release summarizes:
“Climate Pragmatism, a new policy report released July 26th by the Hartwell group, details an innovative strategy to restart global climate efforts after the collapse of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. As such, Climate Pragmatism offers a framework for renewed American leadership on climate change that’s effectiveness, paradoxically, does not depend on any agreement about climate science or the risks posed by uncontrolled greenhouse gases.”
The authors include scholars from Oxford University, London School of Economics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Arizona State University, McGill University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Breakthrough Institute, and Third Way.
Energy innovation policy is the first and foremost area the paper identifies for progress. The authors note (emphasis added):