Fear funding cuts will see the UK lag on green tech

A high-powered panel have said the UK should ring fence funding for low carbon technologies to create a green future or risk falling behind the rest of the world.

In a report revealed yesterday (July 19) The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says green technology, which if developed here, will help to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, whilst also providing the basis for green economic growth in the longer term.

But, without government support, a range of ‘essential’ low-carbon technologies are likely to get stuck in a so-called ‘valley of death’, where development is curtailed, and will fail to make it to market.

The committee says new low-carbon technologies ‘will be vital’ in generating cleaner forms of electricity, which will make ‘a very significant contribution’ to meeting the 2050 target to reduce emissions by 80% relative to 1990 levels.

The committee conclude that any reduction in current funding levels, currently £550 million a year, and specific future commitments, like power generation, CCS demonstration and electric vehicles, would increase the risk of missing carbon budgets and would see the UK losing out on opportunities to build a green economy.

The UK’s spend on energy research and development as a % of GDP lags behind other developed countries.

This situation is, according to the committee, is even more worrying in the context of global investment in technology development that is low relative to benchmarks proposed by the Stern Review, the International Energy Agency, and the European Union.

Professor Julia King, member of the Committee on Climate Change said: “The case for action is strong.

“With adequate funding, new policies and strengthened delivery arrangements, we would expect UK firms to take leading roles in the development of key technologies.

“Driving down emissions to meet carbon budgets and targets, and fulfilling the new Government’s clear objective to build a low-carbon economy.

“We urge the Government to put the appropriate low-carbon technology support arrangements in place to unlock environmental and wider economic benefits.”

Luke Walsh

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