Mission Innovation: Australia to double investments in clean energy research and development

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy Turnbull arrive for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Valletta, Malta November 27, 2015. Reuters/Toby Melville

Australia is amongst 20 countries that have signed up a clean technology commitment in Paris on Monday. The investment program, known as Mission Innovation, would require all the signatories to double their R&D investments across public and private sectors in their own countries by 2020.

The other 19 nations that form part of the commitment are United States, China, India, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull along with other world leaders will launch the investment program at the Paris conference on climate change on Monday.

According to the Mission Innovation website, Australia’s spending on research and development for 2015 has been estimated at $100 million. In that case, by 2020, Australian government would invest $200 million in the field of clean energy research and development.

The U.S. White House has said in a briefing that that the 19 countries would be jointly spending US$10 billion (AU$14 billion) every year on clean energy research and development.

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an independent private initiative led by Bill Gates along with 28 other investors, will also make investments in early-stage energy companies in countries that have signed the Mission Innovation deal.  

"The renewable technologies we have today, like wind and solar, have made a lot of progress and could be one path to a zero-carbon energy future, Bill Gates said in a statement.  "But given the scale of the challenge, we need to be exploring many different paths — and that means we also need to invent new approaches."

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