Accelerating Low-Carbon Innovation Through Policy

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 311 (Hynes Convention Center)
Global climate change will greatly affect the future of humankind and our planet. Climate science is critical for informing policymakers about its dangers and suggesting emission limits. Science also shows that staying within emission limits while meeting the aspirations of a growing global population requires fundamental changes in energy conversion and storage. The 2016 Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stay within 2 degrees of global warming represents a large political leap. It is now crucial, however, to translate these policy targets into concrete incentives for innovation to make new low-carbon technologies available globally. The majority of low-carbon technology innovation in the last several decades, such as the 85 percent cost reduction in photovoltaic cell production since 2000, was driven by largely uncoordinated national policies. These included research incentives in Japan and the U.S., feed-in tariffs in Germany, and tax breaks in the U.S. This session reviews the successes and failures of these policies, including how characteristics of both the technologies and the policy instruments themselves either helped or hindered technological progress. Speakers will discuss how research by the innovation science community can inform policy decisions that accelerate low-carbon innovation and improve the sustainability of our planet in the long term, despite limited resources.
Rahel Byland, ETH Zurich
Jessika Trancik, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Modeling Technology Innovation to Accelerate Clean Energy Development
Masaru Yarime, City University of Hong Kong
Encouraging Stakeholder Collaboration for Smart City Innovation
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