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Updated 16 September 2005

Vision and Framework for Strategy and Planning
Published August 2005




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The Role of Technology

Given sufficient effort, time and motivation, aided by visionary leadership, international cooperation, and well-guided research, technological innovations could contribute significantly to this long-term objective, and at the same time promote global economic development and prosperity. Analyses documented in the literature show that accelerated advances in technology have the potential, under certain assumptions, to significantly reduce the cost of mitigation over the course of the 21st century, compared to what would otherwise be the case with usual advances in technology.18 These technologies will create many new opportunities for both reducing GHG emissions and promoting economic growth.

The CCTP aims to achieve a balanced and diversified portfolio of advanced technology R&D, focusing on energy-efficiency enhancements; low-GHG-emission energy supply technologies; carbon capture, storage, and sequestration methods; and technologies to reduce emissions of non-CO2 gases. Conducting this R&D will help resolve the technological uncertainties and improve the prospects that the technologies can be adapted to market realities, better positioning them for market acceptance and broadbased deployment.

In this way, the CCTP complements the CCSP. Over time, advances in climate change science under CCSP can be expected to improve understanding about climate change and its impacts. Uncertainties about causes and effects of climate change will be reduced and the potential benefits and risks of various courses of future action will become clearer. Similarly, advances in climate change technology under the CCTP can be expected to bring forth an array of advanced technology options that will meet the needs of society, reduce GHG emissions, and cost less. The role of technology, therefore, is to complement the expanding knowledge of climate change science, and provide the means for enabling and facilitating progress toward long-term stabilization goals.

Two publications issued by the CCTP provide more information about the technologies in the portfolio.19 The Research and Current Activities report provides an overview of the science, technology, and policy initiatives that make up the Administration’s climate change technology strategy. Readers interested in learning more about the technologies themselves may consult the report, Technology Options for the Near and Long Term. As these publications evidence, the United States has already embarked on the world’s most ambitious effort to develop advanced technology related to climate change mitigation.

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