A prosperous, secure, and climate-stable world must shift from fossil fuels to efficient use and benign supply. The pieces of this puzzle are now falling into place in a detailed transdisciplinary synthesis underway at Rocky Mountain Institute for publication in September 2011. Existing and emerging technology, integrative design (often with expanding returns to investments in energy productivity), and aggressive but strategically advantageous market deployment can displace all U.S. oil and coal by 2050. Rather than requiring mandates and carbon pricing, this transition can be driven by new competitive strategies and business models supported by innovative public policies. Rapidly emerging shifts to platform-fit, electrified autos and to an efficient, diverse, distributed, renewable electricity system also offer important risk-management, security, and resilience benefits. In short, defossilizing fuels can be led by business for profit, with net-present-valued private internal benefits in the trillions of dollars.
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