Day One 2025 Idea Open Call: Energy and Environment

REMOTE

In 2019, we came together with an idea to arm the next presidential administration in January 2020 with 100 implementation-ready policy proposals crowdsourced from the science, technology and innovation community. Not only was our call for ideas met with an overwhelming response, but along the way we honed a vision for policy entrepreneurship: how anyone can convert a merely promising idea into real movement.

Since 2020, we have helped a growing community of contributors develop promising policy ideas — an amazing number of which have already become policy. Together we have inspired over $2.6 billion in federal investment across key science and technology priorities, eight new cross-cutting federal initiatives, four executive actions, and more.

Now we sit on the verge of another Presidential election – and again FAS sees opportunity for meaningful, science-based policy innovations that can appeal to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That’s why we’re launching “Day One 2025” – and renewing the call for bold policy ideas, grounded in science and evidence, that can tackle the country’s biggest challenges and bring us closer to the prosperous, equitable and safe future that we all hope for.

For this new effort, FAS has identified five priority areas where ideas and action are most sorely needed: Energy and Environment, Government Capacity, R&D, Innovation and Competitiveness, Global Security, and Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

Day One 2025 Idea Open Call: Energy and Environment

Climate change threatens almost every aspect of American society. Smoke-filled air, record high temperatures, and more frequent wildfires pose increasing risks to health, economic security, and the quality of lives. Ensuring continued prosperity in a warming world requires the federal government to build on recent investments in American industry, infrastructure, and research systems. We believe the continued well-being of society and ecosystems requires:

  • Deploying next generation energy technologies through more effectively planning, siting, and permitting

  • Decarbonizing the built environment with advanced technologies enabled by new markets

  • Addressing climate risks and the cascading impacts of hazards through a coordinated, all-of-government approach

The Day One Project is interested in ideas that fall under the following categories:

Electricity System

Urgent updates to the energy system are needed to meet ambitious decarbonization goals and increase energy demand. Commercialization barriers, transmission limitations, and lengthy proceduralism prevent historic investments across research, development, and demonstration from improving the power grid. We seek ideas to realize the potential of next generation energy technology by more effectively updating and deploying energy infrastructure.

Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include:

  • How can the government better enable first-of-kind demonstrations and workforce development for next generation energy technologies?

  • How can the government prevent major disruptions to power generation by modernizing the energy grid, stabilizing supply chains, and establishing domestic manufacturing capabilities?

  • How can the government unlock energy innovation through new models of collaboration among federal agencies, national laboratories, higher education institutions, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations?

  • How can the government ensure that energy projects are more rapidly permitted and sited in partnership with communities, cities, states, and Tribal governments?

  • How can the federal government enable a more agile, dynamic, and risk tolerant energy research and development enterprise through novel models, practices, and partnerships that accelerate innovation?

Climate Tech, Finance, and Industry

Preventing and reversing impacts of climate change, as well as building resilience, requires advancing high-risk technologies through new markets. Industry, transportation, buildings, and agriculture contribute substantially to total emissions by burning fossil fuels directly or by consuming massive amounts of electricity. We seek ideas to decarbonize heavy-emitting sectors by scaling advanced technologies and innovation enabled by new markets.

Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include:

  • How can the government spur faster decarbonization in transportation and other heavy-emitting industries through new standards, methods, and innovations in technology?

  • How can the government model resilient building practices and standards through its expansive real estate portfolio?

  • How can the government spur systemic transformation of the global market for sustainable food and new agricultural technologies?

  • How can the government attract more catalytic capital for decarbonization initiatives at the state, city, and local levels?

  • How can the government ensure the development and scalability of new products and technology that remove carbon from the atmosphere or reduce future emissions?

Climate Risk, Resilience and Governance

Transformative action is needed to prepare the United States for increased risk in a warmer world. We seek ideas for coordinated approaches that ensure governments at all levels can address climate migration, changes to the global food system, and the cascading impacts of hazards.

Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include:

  • How can the government address major gaps in our understanding of catastrophic climate risks, the uncertainties around how risk events are triggered, and thresholds to unlock positive knock-on effects (e.g., positive tipping points)?

  • How can the government establish the data, knowledge, and decision-support tools for decision makers at all levels to plan and respond under deep uncertainty?

  • How can the government ensure that communities have the capacity to respond to dramatic changes in local climates and, in extreme cases, relocate or adapt to mass population shifts?

  • How can the government ensure the continued health and well-being of the population in the face of extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and other climate risks?

  • How can the government promote adaptation and resilience through nature-based solutions and ecosystem services? 

Want to contribute an idea focused on Energy and Environment? Apply below.