UK's King to launch clean-tech fund

The UK’s former chief scientist David King has unveiled ambitious plans to launch a $10bn a year global clean-tech fund on a par with the Apollo moon-landing programme at this month’s UN climate change summit of world leaders in New York.

Speaking at a conference held by the Green Economy Coalition, King outlined proposals he has developed with economist Richard Layard for a global clean-tech research, development and demonstration programme which he hopes could be adopted at the meeting.

King announced that he and Layard are working with governments to raise funds to help all countries, including developing nations, to switch to renewable energy.  He says their scheme hopes to raise nearly as much as the cost of NASA’s Apollo programme.

He says US President Barack Obama is getting ready to commit the US to action, and last week the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Kichiang, announced that his country’s emissions had fallen by 5% in a year.

King says the US and China are positioning themselves for a climate agreement. He notes how Mexico is leading the way with its Climate Change Act, while “all across Latin America” similar policies are being pursued.

He highlights how Marina Silva could yet become Brazil’s first green president following her remarkable success in tackling deforestation, and how India’s new leader Narendra Modi in his first speech had spoken of his determination “to solarise” the economy.

King urged all governments to form a new Commission to spend 0.02% of their GDP, which should raise $10bn-$20bn per annum over ten years, to fund the low carbon technology programme.

“We are encouraging governments to launch the programme at the UN during Ban Ki-moon’s summit on 23 September,” King says.

“The objective is that by 2020 renewable power should be cheaper than coal in all sunny parts of the world, and by 2025 in all parts of the world.”