Green recovery

Investing in low-carbon R&D

05/04/2023 PNG

The road to net zero requires not only cost reductions in existing clean technologies but the development of new ones, like green hydrogen. But the current level of low-carbon innovation is insufficient to meet the challenge.

Public expenditure on research, development and demonstration (RD&D) for low-carbon technologies has remained broadly flat as a percentage of GDP over the last 30 years, at 0.04% of GDP - a decrease from 0.1% of GDP in 1980.

Innovation and industrial policies – with a focus on both the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies – should constitute a cornerstone of strategies to reach carbon neutrality. An increase in public R&D expenditures targeted at early-stage low-carbon technologies is urgent.

The research system will then need to adapt to this increase, but a larger forward leap can only happen if low-carbon RD&D becomes a clear priority in governments’ budgets.

Read the paper: Driving low-carbon innovations for climate neutrality