To avoid the most calamitous impacts of climate change, the world needs to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
To get there, both federal and state governments and leaders in the private sector will need to enact smart, targeted policies that accelerate innovation and encourage the widespread adoption of clean technologies across the five major economic sectors where emissions are currently coming from. (We call these the “Five Grand Challenges.”)
At Breakthrough Energy, we have enlisted some of the world’s top scientists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and experts to map out the most practical paths to reaching net-zero emissions. From these discussions, we have created comprehensive Policy Playbooks for lawmakers and decision-makers who want to reduce carbon emissions, speed the deployment of new technologies from idea to market, and create a world where everyone has access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy.
Our policy recommendations cover each of the Five Grand Challenges in turn and are designed to reduce the green premium for clean technologies, expand R&D infrastructure, support the demonstration and early adoption of game-changing innovations, and encourage market signals, consumer choices, and positive feedback loops that accelerate the decarbonization of the entire global economy. Certain key policies – such as investing in R&D, incentivizing innovation and entrepreneurship, and putting a price on carbon – can spur transformational change across multiple economic sectors. These cross-cutting Priority Innovation Policies are covered in their own section after the Grand Challenges.
While critically important for the future of the planet, achieving net-zero emissions should not be our only goal. The policies we outline throughout this playbook are designed to be implemented so that they provide direct benefit to all communities. Read about our equity principles.
Policy, of course, happens in the context of politics. It is not realistic to expect all of this to be adopted in one legislative effort. It is, however, quite important for the world to establish concrete plans for how to use policy to drive adoption of the critical technologies that will help avoid a climate disaster. Our hope is the playbooks provide multiple ways for policymakers to make the right decisions to lead to the future we hope is possible.
Breakthrough Energy recognizes and appreciates the individuals and organizations that contributed to this work.
To aid federal, state, and international lawmakers, we have worked with experts to compile a set of smart, practical, and ready-to-implement solutions geared to the specific challenges we face as we decarbonize each part of the global economy. For more information on policies involving a particular Grand Challenge, click on your topic of choice below.
CROSS-CUTTING POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
Certain key policies, such as investing in R&D, incentivizing innovation and entrepreneurship, and putting a price on carbon, can spur transformational change across multiple economic sectors. These cross-cutting Priority Innovation Policies are essential to tackling each of the Five Grand Challenges and getting the world to net-zero emissions.
Private-sector leadership is essential to accelerating the cycle of innovation and deploying bold technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and quickly expand access to clean, affordable energy. Our Corporate Climate Action Playbook includes ideas and action items for businesses large and small, as well as case studies that describe effective transformations already underway.
Download Full Playbooks
You can create a custom playbook with a selected set of policies and recommendations by using the links above (or by choosing "Build a Playbook" below). If you prefer to download a complete playbook as a single PDF, they are offered here for your convenience.