"Best minds in the world"

To achieve this the new report, “A Global Apollo Programme to Tackle Climate Change”, authored by a team of experts from the worlds of business, academia and government, aims to make clean energy cheaper to produce that any source of coal, oil or gas. It will do this by initiating a major scientific and technological programme of research, using the best minds in the world and the best science.

Rees continues: “The most important way in which we can reduce the long term risk of climate change is to accelerate the transition to an economy where we don’t need to burn fossil fuels for energy…. I think it is very important therefor to raise the level of research and development into solar, smart grids, into energy storage and new forms of nuclear because the more quickly we can develop more advanced versions of those technologies, the more quickly the economy will choose to move towards the adoption of those…. I think that’s a politically realistic way in which we should move.”

End fossil subsidy by investing in the future

Current public investment into research and development in renewable energy is $6 billion, compared with the annual sum of $550 billion the fossil fuel industry receives in subsidies.

Commenting on the current state of research and development in clean energy, Rees stated, “Frankly we could do a lot more. The level of R&D in energy is far below what it is in medical science. Why shouldn’t it be on the same level as medical science?”

“Funding for this enhanced R&D would come partly from governments but hopefully that would stimulate a response from the private sector which would then see that this could realistically lead to a completely transformed energy economy within their normal planning horizon.”

A unifying Programme for the common good

Countries joining the programme would have to allocate 0.02% of GDP to the Programme over a 10 year period. It is proposed that it be housed within the International Energy Agency in Paris but would be expanded to include many countries that are not members of the IEA.

Over the last year the Programme has been discussed with governments worldwide with a great deal of enthusiasm. It will be formally discussed at the G7 conference on 7/8th June and by the end of the year, major governments of the world are expected to have joined.

Contributors

The authors of the Global Apollo Programme are Sir David King (former UK Government Chief Scientist), Lord John Browne (former Chief Executive of BP), Lord Gus O’Donnell (former UK Cabinet Secretary), Lord Nicholas Stern (author of the Stern Report), Lord Adair Turner (former Chairman of the UK Committee on Climate), Lord Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal) and Lord Richard Layard (LSE economist).

 

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