Governments ‘should increase funding in low carbon research’

Countries should increase investment in low carbon research and development (R&D) by 2030. They should set targets to boost public investment in these technologies, according to a report by the Grantham […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Countries should increase investment in low carbon research and development (R&D) by 2030.

They should set targets to boost public investment in these technologies, according to a report by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The commitments to fund R&D should have a long term component just like carbon emission caps, it added.

The report suggests growth in low carbon R&D budgets should be “slow and steady”, allowing time for the development of young researchers in the field.

It stated: “While it is welcomed that countries like the UK have committed to double public funding for low carbon R&D by 2020 as part of Mission Innovation, countries should be encouraged to set public R&D targets as far ahead as 2030.”

Some of the greatest funding increases are needed in low carbon transportation, carbon capture and storage (CCS), smart grids and industrial energy efficiency.

It added: “Currently, R&D support has been disproportionately low compared to deployment support, especially in Europe. There is strong argument therefore to increase the size of public R&D support.

“European countries have been emphasising technology deployment through Feed-in Tariffs for renewable energy production over direct R&D support but this approach may not provide sufficient stimulus to develop the next generation of low-carbon technologies.”

In November, the government said on its Spending Review it will support R&D.