There are two related items that were specifically noteworthy. To coincide with the conference The Economist magazine has just published a 16 page report on climate change. This is a factual and pragmatic overview of the problem, the potential harm and the various approaches to solutions. The report summarizes the ineffectiveness of current subsidy policies, recognizes the political unlikelihood of a world carbon tax regime, and ends by advocating more investment in R&D.
Also to coincide with the conference Bill Gates announced a grand coalition pledging $B to R&D in energy innovation. The breakthrough energy coalition is a collection of VCs, entrepreneurs and tech titans. Its not clear how much money is involved or how it will be spent. It may be good news for innovations like StratoSolar, though many of those in the coalition have rejected the idea in the past.
Either way the beginnings of a broader focus on energy R&D is welcome.
by Edmund Kelly