Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a pragmatic, non-ideological group of environmental advocates with bold ideas needed to solve the climate crisis. CATF promotes climate-protecting technologies and policies in order to achieve a zero-emissions, high-energy planet at an affordable cost.

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Annual global emissions approach 50 billion tonnes of CO2

Problem

Carbon neutral energy sources

Solution

Technological innovation and intellectual leadership

Impact

It is time to ask the difficult questions. The planet is in grave danger and global climate policy misses the mark.

Problem

Every year, the global energy system emits almost 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide1. This is pushing our planet towards irreversible climate tipping points. As emerging economies develop and their energy needs increase, the situation will worsen. Drastic changes are needed in the way we power our world.

Current climate strategy focuses on three main actions: increasing the price of carbon as a raw material, better energy efficiency and faster deployment of wind and solar energy. These actions are useful but only address approximately one third of all climate issues. This is why CATF focuses on the remaining two-thirds.

Solution

In order to tackle the entire issue of climate change, CATF believes that we need carbon-neutral electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Alongside this, we need carbon-neutral fuels to power a global energy system double the size of today. 

Iis necessary to combine cutting-edge science, analysis and technological innovation with policies that accelerate these solutions at large scales in order to achieve this goal.

Frame4

Operations at CATF focus on four key areas:
Change the narrative to communicate the size of the problem and the urgency of a solution.
Change technology to make the full suite of carbon-free options like advanced renewables, zero-carbon fuels, carbon capture, advanced nuclear, and geothermals available at an affordable cost.
Change business models to include modular, manufacturable energy solutions that can be deployed anywhere quickly.
Change policy to develop, demonstrate, and scale-up the technologies and systems needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

In Europe, CATF focuses on tackling problems that have made the least progress in recent decades. This video explains CATF’s vision for policy and technological innovation.

Clean Air Task Force focuses on policy and tech innovation

Impact

The impact of CATF’s work is technological innovation, policy advocacy and thought leadership. 

Some ten years ago, CATF predicted that energy efficiency and renewables alone might not be enough to slow down global warming at the required pace. Tackling carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from power generation requires a more in-depth and comprehensive strategy. The same applies to addressing fuel production, the transportation industry and other heavy industrial emissions; the latter two together account for most of the world’s carbon emissions.

CATF’s strategy is as follows:

  • Introduce limits in carbon emissions for power plants and the use of gas and coal
  • Start commercially developing and deploying technologies that eliminate carbon emissions including carbon capture and storage, advanced nuclear energy and next-generation renewable energy.
  • Tackle greenhouse gas and climate-damaging emissions. Think methane leaks from oil and gas production, soot from diesel vehicles, ocean shipping and biomass burning.
  • Ensure that the use of bioenergy is at least carbon-neutral and, where possible, carbon-negative.

See also this blog from CEO Armond Cohen: Four lessons from effective altruism that we can apply to climate change.

Carbon-free electricity and fuels

Organisation

When Clean Air Task Force (CATF) began in the US in 1996 their strategy was simple: enact federal policies to force older coal-fired power plants to meet the same emission standards as new plants.

CATF consists of climate and energy experts with decades of experience. They are scientists, engineers, MBAs, policy experts, lawyers and communication professionals, who achieve impactful results precisely due to the power of their collective knowledge in many domains.

Multiple independent evaluators have rated CATF as one of the most effective organisations in the world working to address climate change. Both Founders Pledge and Giving Green recognise CATF as a very effective climate organisation and view this charity as one of the very best to donate to23.

CATF has played a unique role in the environmental and climate movement for more than 25 years as an evidence-driven, solution-oriented and strategic organisation that delivers results. The history and growth of this organisation can be seen in this short film.

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