Stephen Chu said at the Asia Society Washington, D.C. center awards dinner: "climate change is the greatest challenge facing science," and that the U.S. "innovation machine" can create the scientific knowledge and tools needed to help solve the problem. However, he believes it will be difficult to spread that knowledge and tools across national boundaries.
"In the case of energy-efficient buildings, Chu argued local knowledge drives local building development, and needs to be updated to ensure best practices in energy-efficient buildings quickly go global. "Buildings are local. We don't ship buildings to Denmark." He described the type of knowledge needed for creating energy-efficient buildings as a sort of "hands-on," practitioner's knowledge –"it's like a gardener's craft or like those who know how to cook well."