For more than 30 years, climate advocates have pursued a strategy that can be described as “make the dirty stuff expensive”—put a price on carbon to make carbon emitting technologies costlier than low and zero-carbon alternatives and catalyze a switch. But that strategy hasn’t worked, and emissions have continued to climb, reaching a crisis point. In contrast, the Breakthrough Agenda represents an explicit commitment to a strategy that can be referred to as “make the clean stuff cheap”—use policy to drive down the costs of zero-carbon technologies until they put emitting technologies out of business. Research by our group at Oxford and our collaborators shows that it just might work.
Beinhocker, E. & Farmer, J.D. (2021). 'A New Strategy for Climate: Make the Clean Stuff Cheap'. Democracy 20 November 2021. Retrieved from: https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/a-new-strategy-for-climate-make-the-clean-stuff-cheap/