Climate change policy, innovation and growth
Countries should set targets to increase public investment in low-carbon research and development (R&D) slowly and steadily beyond 2020, according to a report published by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science. The report states that 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. The authors of the report argue that commitments to fund R&D should have a long-term component just like carbon emission caps. However, they caution against a sudden increase in funding for low-carbon R&D, because the number of researchers is fixed in the short run and expanding research in clean technologies involves training new scientists to avoid crowding out other socially valuable R&D activities. The report argues that growth in low-carbon R&D budgets should be slow and steady, allowing time for the development of young researchers in the field.