The Essential Role of Research

In contrast to other important industrial sectors, such as microelectronics and pharmaceuticals, which invest 10 percent or more of gross revenues in research, the energy sector has long had among the lowest research and development (R&D) investments of any major industrial sector.2 Although concern about the need to deal with the problem of climate change has begun to spark modest increases in private and public research investment, the magnitude of those investments remains dramatically low given the magnitude of the challenge the world faces.

One of the issues that has been consistently lacking in the national and international discourse on greenhouse gas (GHG) policy has been a focus on finding ways to divert a modest portion of the large monetary flows that will be involved in any serious management program into investments into research, development, and demonstration.

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