We’ve needed an Apollo program on climate change for a long time, and now we are getting one.
The UK-based Global Apollo Programme to Combat Climate Change has this goal: Within 10 years, baseload wind and/or solar energy will cost less than coal in every country, and oil and gas too.
The overarching goal is for the world to get 100% of electricity from renewable energy by 2050. We can only get there if the price is irresistible.
Recognizing that country commitments are not enough to keep world temperatures from exceeding 2C, a handful of eminent people have come together to coax them into a mission that rivals Apollo – the race to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.
To get there, founders are calling for countries to invest the same amount spent on the Apollo program – $23 billion a year in today’s money for accelerated research, development and demonstration of solar, wind, energy storage and smart grid technologies.
Calling it the "greatest scientific challenge facing the world," they simply want to double the tiny 2% of R&D budgets the world spends each year on this research.
Among the seven founders are: Sir David King, UK’s climate change envoy; Lord Nicholas Stern, Professor of Economics and Government at London School of Economics and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment; ecologist Sir David Attenborough and Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP Petroleum!
Many countries are interested, they say: US, UK, India, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico and UAE. It’s on the agenda for next week’s G7 meeting and they plan to launch right before this year’s Climate Summit in Paris.
Nations that join the program commit to spend 0.02% of GDP on R&D through 2025, and they get a seat on the global "roadmap committee" that coordinates and oversees the process.
Some countries, like the UK, are spending this amount now, but many aren’t, and there is no coordination to maximize results, they say.
Research isn’t all that’s needed, carbon must be priced, they say. And prices have to come down even further to displace existing fossil fuel infrastructure.
Also in the UK, SolarCentury CEO Jeremy Leggett is asking corporations to contribute 5% of annual profits to the 5% For-Climate-and-Development Club, to eradicate poverty and stop climate change at the same time. Many are showing interest without being solicitied, he says.
Read our article, 100% Renewable Energy Indeed Possible, say Stanford U. Researchers.
Read the Global Apollo plan: