Let's Fund: Effective Climate Policy

There’s a 10% chance of 10°F / 6°C warming. Plastic straw bans won’t cut it: we need global policy solutions. 75% of all emissions will soon come from emerging economies such as China. Experts agree that if governments increase clean energy research funding, then clean energy will become cheaper and carbon taxes more likely. To get there, we recommend donating to Clean Energy Innovation program at ITIF—a top-ranked, US think tank. The program, led by Professor Hart, focuses on the effectiveness of higher and smarter clean energy R&D spending. Read our independent, in-depth analysis at: Lets-Fund.org/Clean-Energy

In brief, advanced economies like the US and EU are prioritizing reducing their own emissions. But by 2040, 75% of all emissions will come from emerging economies such as China and India. Only if advanced economies’ climate policies reduce emissions in all countries will we prevent dangerous climate change.

The best policies to do this are those that stimulate innovation and make clean energy technology cheaper in all countries. We compared 10 climate policies that stimulate innovation (e.g. carbon taxes, deployment subsidies, cutting fossil fuel subsidies) and found that increasing government budgets for public clean energy research and development (R&D) is the most effective—even more effective than carbon taxes.

Public clean energy R&D is neglected: only $22 billion is spent per year globally. This might sound like a lot but consider that this is only 0.02% of World GDP. For comparison, world energy expenditure was 6% of the World’s GDP. This means we spend about 300 times as much on energy than on making energy better. We also spend $140 billion on clean energy deployment subsidies, when analysts say that the ratio of research to subsidies should be more like one-to-one. Many advanced economies (e.g. U.S., EU) could unilaterally increase this substantially without international coordination—which makes this much more politically tractable than carbon taxes.

Better yet, advanced economies can coordinate spending parts of their GDP on clean energy R&D. Many countries have already done so by signing an international ‘Mission Innovation’ agreement, but are not on track to fulfill their pledges. Donating to this campaign might lead countries to get back on track and increase clean energy R&D budgets.

This would make low-carbon energy cheaper, carbon taxes more politically acceptable, and prevent dangerous climate change.

We have a mutual agreement of understanding with ITIF (see here) that any donations to ITIF through Let’s Fund will be restricted to their Clean Energy Innovation Program.

Our cost-effectiveness analysis suggests that, under the most optimistic assumptions, an additional academic publication in the clean energy field by donating to this project might cost as little as $1,333 (you can divide your contribution by this number to get at the expected impact of your donation).

What might this do concretely? An example of US Department of Energy funded research is a recent 2019 study published in the top-journal Nature by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They demonstrated a method for collecting two electrons from each photon could break through theoretical solar-cell efficiency limit and leading dramatic increase in solar cell output.

Donate now or learn more at Lets-Fund.org/Clean-Energy to read our in-depth analysis. Let us know if you have any questions or would like to make a bigger donation ( donations@lets-fund.org ).

By 2030, climate change will push 100 million people back into poverty according to the World Bank and cause 250,000 deaths per year according to the WHO – we need to act now.

Please share this post with friends who are worried about climate change and want to do something about it!

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Update: We've crowdfunded ~$120,000 already (incl. non-FB donations)- but as our analysis shows that the Clean Energy Innovation program can still productively absorb more funds, we're still trying to raise more money. Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!

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Fundraising team: Lets-Fund.org (3)

Hauke Hillebrandt 
Organizer
Raised $1,480 from 5 donations
Cambridge, MA
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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Henry Stanley 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Hauke Hillebrandt 
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This team raised $28,277 from 109 other donations.
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