The Green Real Deal

A Framework for Achieving a Deeply Decarbonized Economy

Green Real Deal report cover.

The Green Real Deal: A Framework for Achieving a Deeply Decarbonized Economy (August 2019) proposes key principles and realistic strategies for achieving deep decarbonization of energy and associated systems by midcentury in ways that minimize costs, maximize economic opportunities, accelerate solutions, and promote social equality. This framework is designed to provide policymakers, stakeholders, and industry with the context and components to prioritize, select, and implement energy policy, technology, and business model innovations to effectively accelerate economywide decarbonization. 

The Green New Deal Resolution in the U.S. Congress jump-started a critical national conversation on the imperatives of addressing climate change risks to the economy, environment, and national security. The “Green Real Deal” is meant to be a pragmatic, actionable framework to meet climate goals. The framework consists of five broad-based principles and eight high-level key elements. 

“Today we face the ‘slow motion train wreck’ of climate change, but without the presidential leadership of the original New Deal. This only elevates the importance of acting now in Congress, in states and cities and in civil society to develop a practical Green Real Deal that will provide the political coalitions needed for an inclusive societal push to accelerated climate action, said Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) CEO Ernest Moniz and Andy Karsner in a CNBC op-ed.

The five principles of the Green Real Deal are (1) Technology, business model, and policy innovations are essential; (2) Broad and inclusive coalitions must be built; (3) Social equity is essential for success; (4) All greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting sectors must be addressed in climate solutions; and (5) Optionality and flexibility are needed for technologies, policies, and investments.

These principles form the basis for eight key elements—areas of focus that if supported by analysis and actions, will help forge broadly acceptable, equitable, and practical climate change solutions:

  1. National Technology, Policy, and Business Model Innovation Program Portfolios
  2. Subnational and Corporate Decarbonization Strategies
  3. Social Equity in the Distribution of the Costs and Benefits of Deep Decarbonization
  4. Fair and Effective Carbon Pricing
  5. Workforce for a Clean Energy Future
  6. Large-Scale Carbon Management Systems
  7. Modernized, Innovative, and Climate-Resilient Energy Infrastructures
  8. Sustainable and Secure Clean Energy Technology Supply Chains

EFI CEO Ernest Moniz unveiled the Green Real Deal framework at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “EnergyInnovates” summit on July 31, 2019. He later gave a presentation and fireside chat with Edward L. Morse, Managing Director and Global Head of Commodity Research at Citigroup, at an event hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in New York. Moniz has presented the Green Real Deal concept to various stakeholders, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill, international energy investors and religious leaders, environmental and sustainability activists in a keynote address at Climate Week NYC 2019, and Capitol Hill policymakers at the at a presentation at the Bipartisan Policy Center. In 2020, Moniz spoke on the Green Real Deal and other topics in a Resources for the Future (RFF) event with RFF President Richard Newell.

Moniz first outlined the case for broad coalition building and the Green Real Deal in an CNBC op-ed with Andy Karsner, a former Energy Department official in the George W. Bush administration. The concept was praised by Tom Friedman in the The New York Times. He also published an op-ed on the Green Real Deal in The report was highlighted in major publications including AxiosS&P GlobalBloomberg, and MSNBC

Moniz discusses the Green Real Deal at Resources for the Future Policy Leadership Series

Bipartisan Policy Center: Scaling Carbon Removal from Public Innovation to Commercial Opportunity

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