President George Bush's recent speech on climate change emphasized the development and deployment of technology to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and he announced a new goal of stopping growth of U.S. GHG emissions by 2025.
‘We must all recognize in the long run, new technologies are the key to addressing climate change,’ he explained. ‘But in the short run, they can be more expensive. And that's why I believe part of any solution means reforming today's complicated mix of incentives to make the commercialization and use of new, lower-emission technologies more competitive. Today, we have different incentives for different technologies – from nuclear power to clean coal, to wind and solar energy.’
Bush recommended that these technologies be consolidated into one program and be:
– carbon-weighted to make lower-emission power sources less expensive relative to higher-emission sources,
– technology-neutral, and
– long-lasting and provide a positive and reliable market signal not only for the investment in a technology, but also for the investments in domestic manufacturing capacity and infrastructure that will help lower costs and scale up availability.
In a statement about the president's speech, Patricia Glaza, executive director of the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization, a group that promotes the commercialization and adoption of clean technologies, praised Bush's plan to use more technology to affect climate change.
‘We don't yet have the answers that industry and the investment community are hungering for, including what is going to be regulated, who is going to regulate, and what the costs will be,’ she said. ‘But the dialogue is happening, and clean technology is at the center of attention.’