Further research for Thinking Bigly. Governments / Society are underspending on clean tech energy R&D. Innovation has to be a major part of the climate solution (across energy, food, materials, buildings, transport, land use) and while we can be deploying more technologies now, we also need to be investing more.
Especially versus levels of spending in other domains.
Government Spending on Clean Tech R&D vs Defence (UK/US):
UK Def R&D (govt) 2.4
AstraZeneca (pharma) 5.9
US Defence R&D (govt) 78
US spends $78bn on military R&D and $2.7bn on clean tech.
UK spends $2.4bn on Def R&D and $0.8bn on clean tech.
AZ for random comparator, as private pharma company spends $5.9bn in R&D.
This leads me to my own take of where the importance and focus and political ease of the current policy line up is(see below). Many aspects are hard re: politics but this strikes me as potentially easy. Market-minded people still tend to believe that basic research is suited to government and universities and this can scale up to commercial development.
There may be an argument for moral equity as well because while typically private companies want to reduce “spillover” from its R&D discoveries so that more wealth is generated to them; from the point of view of the planet a spillover generated from eg the UK that goes to eg India would be welcome and the positive spillover could be equitable as the eg UK had burned most the carbon budget in earlier decades creating the negative polluting externality.
Specific thoughts on carbon tax here.