For two decades, world leaders have been trying--and failing--to hammer out a workable deal on global warming. Now they're meeting once again, this time in Cancun, Mexico, to kick around the same issues one more time--and, inevitably, stumble over all of the same roadblocks.
At the heart of it, these deals all come down to mandating emissions cuts, which means paying a lot more for energy. Some greens deny it, but clean energy still costs vastly more than fossil fuels. Significantly raising energy costs slows economic growth--something no country wants to do.
As a result, every country has an incentive to point the finger at someone else, while trying to game the system: sheltering key industries, understating emissions and overstating reductions.There is a better way. Nations should focus on lowering the cost of clean energy, not raising the cost of fossil energy. The goal? Make clean energy cheap enough to become a viable option for poor as well as rich nations. Until that happens, emissions will continue to rise, and no effort to regulate carbon can succeed.
How do we accomplish that? Stop subsidizing old technology that will never compete with fossil fuels and create incentives for innovation. Along with ramping up support for research, governments should buy cutting-edge clean-energy technologies, prove them--and then give away the intellectual property, so others can improve on it.Read the whole article here.