China boosts investment in renewable energy research while India cuts

It science and technology are to compensate for political and economic failures in addressing climate change, more investment in research and development will be needed.  Details of China’s 12th 5 year plan, now under consideration by the National People’s Congress, confirm China’s plans for major investment in the green economy, including renewable technologies. India, too, has announced investment figures for research and development for the coming year’s budget (2011-2012) . At first glance, it looks promising: a 14 per cent increase in the total allocation for scientific research in 2011–12. 355 billion Indian rupees (US$7.9 billion will be spread across eight key science-related departments and ministries — science and technology, agriculture, atomic energy, defence, earth sciences, health, renewable energy and space), up from last year’s US$6.9 billion.

But  a closer look reveals that funding for new research in renewable energy and agriculture, two key areas in mitigation and adaptation to climate change, were cut by 24 and 6 per cent respectively, with  three strategic research sectors of defence, nuclear and space hogging  more than half  of the science allocation.  On the brighter side, the Ministry of Earth Sciences received a 23 per cent increase over last year, including a boost in funds for coastal research and the development of a multi-hazards early warning support system.