Speaking to key decision makers from the Department of Energy and the Department of State, Morse analyzed how to address the fact that coal is now both the leading fuel of choice in the developing world (passing oil in 2006) and the leading cause of climate change.
Morse offered two strategic frameworks for US policy to reduce emissions from coal-fired power: substitution and decoupling.
Under the substitution strategy, Morse compared the relative costs and carbon mitigation potential of a portfolio of alternative baseload power generation technologies that could be deployed in the developing world, taking into account political and resource constraints in key countries such as China and India.
Under the decoupling strategy, Morse analyzed the options for carbon capture and storage compared to the mitigation potential of increasing the combustion efficiency of the existing coal fleet. Drawing on PESD analysis of coal, power, and gas markets in the developing world, PESD put forward pragmatic strategies to US Government officials that could reduce carbon emissions at scale, without waiting on the emergence of a global carbon market.