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Top global scientists and business leaders back Paris clean energy plan

by ClickGreen staff. Published Wed 16 Sep 2015 09:16, last updated: 16/09/15
Letter calls for support for the Global Apollo Programme
Letter calls for support for the Global Apollo Programme

More than 25 world-leading scientists, executives, academics and politicians have called on nations to adopt the Global Apollo Programme (GAP) by the time of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

A letter published today, signed by David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Paul Polman, Carlo Carraro, Nilesh Jadhav and other respected figures, argues that “a sensible approach to tackling climate change will not only pay for itself but provide economic benefits to the nations of the world”.

The GAP plan for internationally coordinated RD&D (research, development and demonstration) into renewable energy technology was proposed in June by a group of top scientists, economists and energy experts including Nicholas Stern, Gus O’Donnell, Richard Layard, David King, Martin Rees, Adair Turner and John Browne.

The aspiration of the Program is to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels by increasing government spending on research to at least $15bn a year globally for the next 10 years.

The letter comes at the same time as a video from Sir David Attenborough urges support for the Program.

The text of the letter reads:

“We the undersigned believe that global warming can be addressed without adding significant economic costs or burdening taxpayers with more debt.

“A sensible approach to tackling climate change will not only pay for itself but provide economic benefits to the nations of the world.

“The aspiration of the Global Apollo Program is to make renewable energy cheaper than coal within 10 years. We urge the leading nations of the world to commit to this positive, practical initiative by the Paris climate conference in December.

“The plan requires leading governments to invest a total of at least $15 billion a year in research, development and demonstration of clean energy.

“That compares to the $100 billion currently invested in defence R&D globally each year.

“Public investment now will save governments huge sums in the future.

“What is more, a coordinated R&D plan can help bring energy bills down for billions of consumers.

“Renewable energy gets less than 2% of publicly funded R&D. The private sector spends relatively small sums on clean energy research and development.

“Just as with the Apollo space missions of the 1960s, great scientific minds must now be assembled to find a solution to one of the biggest challenges we face.

“Please support the Global Apollo Program – the world’s 10 year plan for cheaper, cleaner energy.”

The text was signed by:

• Sir David Attenborough

• Professor Brian Cox

• Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

• Professor Jeffery Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University

• Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy Environment and Water

• Ed Davey, Former UK Energy Secretary

• Bill Hare, Founder and CEO, Climate Analytics

• Nilesh Y. Jadhav, Program Director, Energy Research Institute @NTU, Singapore

• Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT

• Carlo Carraro, Director, International Centre for Climate Governance

• Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair, Grantham Institute

• Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group

• Ben Goldsmith, Founder, Menhaden Capital

• Sabina Ratti, Executive Director, FEEM - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

• Lord Browne, Chairman L1 Energy

• Zac Goldsmith MP

• Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director Grantham Institute

• Professor Joanna Haigh CBE, Co-Director, Grantham Institute and Vice President of Royal Meteorological Society

• Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

• Dr Fatima Denton, African Climate Policy Centre

• Denys Shortt, CEO, DCS Group

• Lord Turner, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority

• Lord O’Donnell, Former Cabinet Secretary

• Lord Layard, London School of Economics



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