Paris deal could help narrow the US political divide on climate
New Scientist - 12/15/2015
If the aims of the historic Paris climate deal are to be met, a moonshot effort to develop technologies that can decarbonise the world economy will be needed – and the US has been positioning itself to lead this push.
The accord involves 195 countries pledging to achieve voluntary cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of the US, president Barack Obama has vowed that by 2025, its overall carbon emissions will be at least 26 per cent lower than in 2005.
Until recently, the partisan divide in the US on climate issues looked unbridgeable. Top Republicans in Congress have repeatedly threatened to block climate legislation.
Yet in recent years an important new paradigm has been emerging, one reinforced by the ambitious Paris deal – the need for a step change in clean energy technologies. The idea is not to make fossil fuels more costly, but to make clean technologies cheaper and more effective.