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Council on Foreign Relations Presents Energy, Security, and Climate

Coping With Uncertainty

Council on Foreign Relations
Michael Levi, Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, explains why coping with deep climate uncertainty is trickier than you might think. Nancy Anderson's comment on Levi's two sets of big unknowns leads to Twitter conversation @levi_m @Sallan_Found @Stphn_Laecy.

Nancy Anderson's Comment:
YES! "The second set of unknowns surrounds the relationship between public policy and the energy system. We have little idea of which policies would actually succeed in delivering particular emissions reductions - and no, "capping" emissions doesn't guarantee any particular outcome."


NO! "Pushing squarely on an immediate switch to zero-carbon fuels, and incidentally treating all fossil fuels as similar, increases the odds that if a move to zero-carbon energy doesn't materialize quickly, you'll be left with coal."

WHY? Think this is a straw man. Other potent variables will play into the nuts & bolts of any real world zero-carbon policy. Take just one, time frame. Just one more, success (or not) of energy-efficiency work.