GOP, don't lose out on the energy revolution

Story highlights

  • As a landmark climate agreement is reached in Paris, the issue of clean energy remains polarized in the U.S.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Per Espen Stoknes: Republicans should take ownership of clean energy

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and founder of R20: Regions of Climate Action, serves as the Governor Downey Professor of State and Global Policy at University of Southern California, as well as chairman of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Per Espen Stoknes is an entrepreneur and part-time professor in economics and psychology at the Norwegian Business School. His latest book is "What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.

(CNN)Even as the international community signed a landmark climate agreement in Paris over the weekend, the issue of clean energy remains polarized at home in the United States.

Renewable energy is not a political issue, and it is time Republican leaders acknowledge the truth.
    The politicization of clean energy has allowed Democrats to occupy the position of being pro-sun and pro-wind to such an extent that Republicans -- in the eyes of many -- are completely linked with coal and oil. But in fact, the energy revolution underway relies on inherently conservative principles and Republicans should take ownership of clean energy.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Per Espen Stoknes
    Core values of conservatism are about promoting free market competition, property rights, economic development and technological innovation. Conservatism is about cutting red tape for entrepreneurs, reducing taxes, killing unfair subsidies and giving consumers greater choices.
    History is littered with examples of thought leaders who did not embrace coming technological shifts. The consequence was simple: You get left behind and become less and less relevant.