Feeds

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

Nuclear power stations, not nuclear bombs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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." ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.