Azara Blog: Royal Society president wants more money spent on energy research

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Date published: 2006/08/04

The BBC says:

World leaders have been urged to put more money into developing new energy technologies to tackle global warming.

Royal Society president Martin Rees wants a publicly funded international research programme, he says in the US journal Science.

Lord Rees says a pledge to increase governments' investments in energy technologies should have been made at the recent G8 summit in Russia.

He describes a "worrisome lack of determination" among world leaders.
Public funding for energy research across the world has halved in real terms since 1980, and in the UK it is now one-tenth of what it used to be.

All fairly obvious stuff. Of course the reason "public funding for energy research across the world has halved in real terms since 1980" is that over the last few decades energy has been relatively cheap, so governments have not seen energy research as critical. The interest in the 1970s was because of supply, not global warming. And indeed the current skyrocketing price of oil and gas is more likely to spark a renewed interest in energy research than global warming. Needless to say, if the governments of the world spent less money on the mega-projects of astronomy (the research field of Martin Rees) and high energy physics, they would have more money for energy research.

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