Schwarzenegger: government shouldn't try to pick technology winners

16-12-2009, Copenhagen, Denmark

Against the background of the slow progress at COP15, two panel discussions organised by ClimateOne and REEEP highlighted the importance of sub-national states, provinces, cities and private business in meeting the climate change challenge.

During the two discussions which were recorded for public radio in the United States, moderator Greg Dalton quizzed Governor Schwarzenegger, Huang Ming, the CEO of Himin Solar, Dr. Pachauri the Chairman of IPCC and Caio Koch-Wesser, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank on what they saw as the critical elements of dealing with the climate change issue.

The Governor noted the need for a comprehensive US national position, similar to the one already taken by California, which is also cooperating with provinces in China on climate change mitigation and adaptation technology. But he also indicated that government should not get into the business of picking specific technology winners.

Along similar lines, Huang Ming pointed out that the private sector has an important role to play in making renewable technologies something aspirational, and that governments can help push technologies towards commercialisation though R&D funding and by providing policies that don't change over time.

Dr. Pachauri underlined that developed countries are under an obligation to help developing countries in the move towards clean technology. Caio Koch-Wesser gave an insightful analysis of the need for action at international, national and subnational levels, and of the need for policy stability over time.