An update on our most recent post – on Monday the UK’s independent statutory climate advisory group, the Climate Change Committee chaired by Adair Turner, brought out a new report on low carbon innovation. One of its main findings is that:
“Current levels of public expenditure for RD&D [research, development and deployment] should be regarded as a minimum and cuts would be detrimental to the achievement of our climate goals and the new Government’s objective to build a green economy. UK energy RD&D funding is low by international standards, and international funding is low relative to benchmarks proposed by the Stern Review, the IEA and the EU (e.g. IEA analysis suggests that a two to fivefold increase is required).”
The CCC estimates that current spending on low carbon RD&D in the UK is around £550 million, including spending by higher education research councils. this is a tiny amount in the context of this year’s deficit of over £150 billion. But more importantly it is the kind of investment in our future economy and environment that should be the last thing to go.
Sad then, that the CCC report came out three days after the cuts we outlined in Monday’s post.