Feeds

CBI calls for UK lo-carb tech spend 'equal to weapons'

Nuclear power stations, not nuclear bombs

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for the British government to give development of low-carbon technology the same emphasis as it does that of weaponry.

At present, around £250m of government funding goes into low-carbon tech annually, while the Ministry of Defence spends on the order of £2.5bn on the development of military equipment.

"Our ambition should be to increase expenditure on low-carbon technologies to around 30 per cent of the Government's total R&D budget, roughly equivalent to £2.6bn of purchasing power," said Dr Neil Bentley of the CBI.

"That would bring it in line with the proportion currently being spent on defence."

The CBI makes its recommendations in a report to be published today, in which it sees carbon-busting technology as a major emerging business sector in the world economy. Naturally the biz body believes that Blighty should be in there, scooping work and making money.

"The UK has an opportunity to enter and lead in new markets estimated at $1 trillion," said Dr Bentley.

"However there is currently a general lack of ambition and vision ... The UK needs to act now if it is to be a low-carbon leader. If not, we are in danger of being overtaken by other countries in low-carbon technology markets."

The CBI call to action is being widely reported as a call for "green" technology, but many greens would be unhappy with some of the ideas on offer. The industry group is keen to see "clean coal" and nuclear power developed, as well as the renewables beloved of the orthodox green movement.

It's certainly reasonable to suggest that the government would do well to fund the many technologies which could provide energy for the UK and its friends/customers in the post-fossil era. Others than the CBI might question the current policy of importing much of our energy kit and pouring government cash into domestic weapons programmes which on past form will never manage export sales justifying their cost.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change, in charge of meeting Blighty's ambitious carbon-reduction targets, issued a statement:

"We recognise the massive contribution low carbon innovation can make in helping us meet our climate change and energy security goals, as well as in creating jobs and business opportunities. That's why we're ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds into supporting energy R&D, and why the new Environmental Transformation Fund is up and running providing business with some £400m of funding to demonstrate innovative and energy efficient technologies." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.