Op-ed: How Joe Biden can tap the private sector to accelerate transition to clean energy


As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we are on the cusp of a green industrial revolution. Now is the time for President-elect Joe Biden and his formidable team of scientific, economic, and national security experts to engage with the private sector to accelerate this historic transition to a low-carbon world.

With an ambitious $2 trillion plan that strives to address the threat of climate change more comprehensively than that of any other administration, the Biden presidency could mark a turning point in federal government policy and usher in a new era for clean energy. 

And the newly announced Biden environmental team will find a receptive business community with which to cooperate. During the past several years, efforts to address climate change in the US have been led not by the federal government and federal policies—although many states and cities have continued to act on their own—but by businesses and financial markets.

The private sector has become increasingly focused on sustainability and climate risk, not only as a result of heightened awareness of climate change and accountability to stakeholders, but also as a result of dramatic innovations that have substantially lowered the price of clean energy, catalyzing a shift in markets, creating financial incentives, and motivating corporations and institutional investors to capitalize on these trends.

In fact, renewable energy is now cheaper than conventional power generation for over two-thirds of the planet.  Just last year, electricity generation from renewable sources surpassed coal in the US for the first time in the modern era.


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