Conclusion

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Did you catch all that?
Click here for a quick technical summary of The Climate Roadmap.

The Ford Model T went out of production in 1927, nearly twenty years after it was first introduced. In those twenty years the world was irrevocably changed and life for regular people was improved and enhanced. A new industry was born, leading the way to the future with new processes, materials and business practices.

Government policy followed to make sure that automobiles also met the needs of society, eventually mandating safety and efficiency for drivers and manufacturers alike. Today, cars are not only affordable, they are marvels of engineering, safety and efficiency, because of the combination of the market and policy to establish incentives to reach long term goals. We will see the same shift. Before we look ahead, let’s look back.

Twenty years ago, spring_09_nowthenawareness of our changing climate was just beginning to reach a wide public consciousness. Since then, the science of climate change has advanced and the conversation has moved solidly into the mainstream. Today it is the market, assisted by public policy to achieve the long-term goal, that is driving the conversation and accelerating the clean energy revolution. The market is fantastically good at delivering what the economy demands, and our economy is now demanding clean energy. But the market and business are not good at achieving decades long goals by themselves. That’s where the Carbon Fee and Dividend system comes in, giving investors a better pathway toward reducing climate damage along the way with financial return.

Twenty years from now, we 1051953-13649193321115432-zjkiss[1]could be living in the future just described. In fact, this is likely, given the convergence of falling prices for wind, solar, storage, and electric vehicles along with falling prices for financing these projects. At the same time, developing new fossil fuel reserves and projects is becoming steadily more expensive. We don’t need a new roadmap, we just need to be smarter than the buggy makers were and recognize the roadmap we’re on now. And then go faster with a Carbon F&D.

Let’s revisit the questions posed to frame this conversation.

1. Given the technology and finances we have, what is possible to meet our needs?

Solar and wind are currently being implemented at competitive prices on a utility scale. Clearly, these are the first winning technologies that we can afford today.

2. What are the barriers to realizing our goals and how do we overcome them?

Getting the market to incorporate the needs of society and investors in twenty years will shine a light forward, illuminating the path for our Climate Roadmap. We can do this by incentivizing and accelerating our transition to clean energy with a Carbon F&D 

The Climate Roadmap is not complete. It is a work in progress, and we will adapt to take advantage of the best clean energy alternatives as they become competitive. But the three factors that made possible the birth of the automotive industry are present now for clean energy, and sure enough we are seeing the first explosive growth in this new industry. These 1) newly accessible energy sources, 2) rapidly improving technology to harness it and 3) the growing demand of the market for clean energy will alter our future for the better. Existing energy companies have the ability to adapt and benefit from this change. With Carbon F&D we see policy taking an appropriate role in facilitating new investment in the clean energy solutions that the market is beginning to demand, we will see these eventual changes sooner rather than later.

What’s Next?

Action on these themes are in discussion; work toward an international carbon reduction agreement is underway and is the theme of the next UN climate conference in Paris in late 2015. As citizens of this Earth, it is our responsibility to be informed about the issues that will affect us and our children. News along these themes has historically been rather foreboding, therefore serving to increase feelings of fear and powerlessness. We believe our future is exciting and that journalists and other media will do well to keep our attention on solutions rather than the problems so we can look forward to an energy future that is empowering and inclusive.

How Can I Learn More?

Explore our references for a start. We have compiled a comprehensive list of excellent and encouraging articles and web resources that paint a bright energy future. Find your local Citizen’s Climate Lobby, or sign up for the next international call on CCL’s websiteEngage in dialogue about these concepts with friends and relatives. Advocate for a Carbon Fee and Dividend; tell people you are tired of waiting for the future – let’s make it happen now! Only by talking about the problems can we approach the solutions.

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