By Anders Lorenzen
What would a policy approach look like from a Republican who wants to tackle climate change? That might be hard for many to imagine because for a long time such a policy has been non-existent, the Republican Party has become engulfed in climate denialism.
But in recent years, a couple of Republicans have emerged who are starting to formulate a pro tackling climate change agenda.
We recently reported on Matt Gaetz, who is a Republican and a Trump ally, but who unlike the US President thinks that climate change is a real and present danger.
However, he was not too keen on the Democrats Green New Deal, and last week he launched a Republican approach to tackling climate change: The Green Real Deal.
Republicans and conservatives hate regulations, and Gaetz himself had previously introduced a bill that would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And so, not surprisingly, The Green Real Deal does not focus on regulating to reduce emissions but instead suggests creating a series of programmes which would increase cleantech innovation, and thereby we would innovate ourselves out the problem. In other words, if there was a free marketeer approach to climate change, this would be it.
In Gaetz’s plans there are no targets for emission reductions or any clean energy targets, nor does the deal entertain the idea about a tax on carbon or a cap and trade scheme.
The Green Real Deal first targets a Trump-style anti-China approach. It wants to protect the US’s intellectual property and wants to prevent countries like China from replicating and reproducing future US clean energy advancements.
It then calls for modernizing the US electric grid to allow more renewable power to flow through the system. And finally, two points of the deal call for opening federal lands for renewable energy research and development, and for aligning policies and regulations to more quickly bring to market advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture technology and hydropower projects.
When unveiling the deal, Matt Gaetz explained that history will judge harshly his Republican colleagues who continue to deny the science of climate change. And in a swipe at the Democrats, he said: “Similarly those Democrats, who would use climate change as a basis to regulate out of existence the American experience, will face the harsh reality that their ideas will fail.”