Comment: On Earth Day, we must get behind green technologies with great momentum

By Owen Gaffney and Johan Falk, Exponential Roadmap Initiative Co-founders | April 21, 2023

Every international Earth Day on 22 April is a moment to check in on the state of our planet.

In a comment for Reuters Events Sustainable Business, Exponential Roadmap Initiative Co-founders Owen Gaffney and Johan Falk argue that the answer to putting our planet on a better track lies in reinforcing feedback loops.

“Feedback loops are everywhere. Think of a boulder rolling down a hill, building momentum until it becomes almost impossible to stop. Or a microphone positioned too close to a loudspeaker, causing the rapid scaling up of unbearable noise,” Gaffney and Falk write, applying the idea to the climate solutions that are here now and that are scaling fastest. The exponential growth of solar and wind power and electric vehicles – “all have reinforcing feedback loops at their core.”

Smart financial solutions can push technologies into this feedback zone, they continue, citing examples from Ithaca, NY, and the “no money down” financial innovation pioneered by clean energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah.

The call to action is clear: “This Earth Day, as we check in on the state of our planet, we know what the priority needs to be: to focus on reinforcing feedback loops, wherever they are. Where they exist in energy, technology and society: accelerate them. That includes removing policies that stand in the way. For finance, leverage the positive powers of feedback loops and be prepared to manage the negative ones. Feedback loops for existing climate solutions are the essential tool for putting our planet Earth on a better track.”

Read the full comment in Reuters Events Sustainable Business here.

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