The 10-50 Solution Technologies and Policies for a Low-Carbon Future

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) are pleased to present the proceedings of our March 2004 workshop, The 10-50 Solution: Technologies and Policies for a Low-Carbon Future. In order to tackle a problem as multi-faceted and complex as climate change, policy-makers and business leaders must catalyze both short-term (within this decade – “10” year) and long-term (e.g., “50” year) solutions.

Technology will play a critical role in enabling a low-carbon future. The “10-50 Solution” workshop brought together over 100 invited policy-makers, business leaders, NGO representatives, and leading experts to examine technologies that are likely to play a key role in addressing the climate change challenge over the next 50 years, as well as the policies that will be needed to push and pull these and other emerging technologies into the marketplace. This volume includes the background papers commissioned for the workshop as well as presentations on opportunities in industry made during the course of our meeting. While the workshop was structured around five emerging technologies, the lessons learned can be applied more broadly.

Significant uncertainties remain about what a low-carbon future may look like and the role of specific technologies and policies in contributing to such a future. Yet, despite these uncertainties, one thing is clear: We need to start now enacting sensible policies and making investments in order to achieve the technological changes necessary over the next five decades.

We hope that these proceedings will provide critical analysis of some key technology and policy options to inform the nation’s dialogue about a low-carbon future. We also hope that they will lay the groundwork for a sustained, 50-year effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We extend our appreciation to all of the workshop speakers and participants, and especially to the background paper authors, who helped make the workshop a success.