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Only big steps can still achieve something: Climate research and development laboratory

Only big steps can still achieve something: Climate research and development laboratory
Only big steps can still achieve something: Climate research and development laboratory

Tackling climate change necessitates substantial investment in carbon-neutral infrastructure, such as solar and wind farms, with projected costs nearing $100 trillion over the coming decades. This prompts two pivotal questions:

  1. What innovative developments could significantly influence climate change mitigation that are currently overlooked?

  2. Is there a need for a dedicated R&D laboratory focused on solving climate challenges?

Numerous foundations, universities, and governments are already striving to enhance climate crisis solutions through intensified research and development. Establishing a new laboratory or expanding an existing research organisation could be a strategic move. A thorough proposal outlining goals and methodologies would be crucial to secure necessary funding.

Proposed new R&D laboratory: Business plan overview

An adaptable, open-source business plan has been devised for a new R&D laboratory. This plan is designed to be flexible, allowing for customisation to suit specific requirements and contexts. Key elements of this business plan include:

Purpose and objectives

The primary objective of the new R&D laboratory would be to develop groundbreaking technologies and solutions to mitigate climate change effectively and economically. The focus would be on projects currently underrepresented but with substantial potential impact.

Research and development focus

  • Renewable Energy Technologies: Innovations in solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.

  • Energy Storage Solutions: Development of efficient and scalable energy storage systems.

  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Cutting-edge methods for capturing and storing carbon emissions.

  • Sustainable Agriculture: Techniques for reducing the carbon footprint of agricultural practices.

  • Materials Science: Creation of new materials that can lower emissions and enhance energy efficiency.

Organisational structure

The laboratory would be structured into several divisions, each concentrating on different research areas. These divisions would be further segmented into groups focused on specific projects. A proposed structure could include:

  • Energy Division: Concentrated on renewable energy technologies and energy storage.

  • Carbon Division: Dedicated to carbon capture and sustainable practices.

  • Innovation Division: Exploring new materials and breakthrough technologies.

Funding and grants

Funding would be managed by a panel of experts who allocate resources from a general fund to various divisions and groups. Staff would also be encouraged to seek external funding through grant proposals.

Comparison with universities

While universities conduct extensive research, educate students, and produce Ph.D. graduates, their research project sizes are often limited to what a professor or department can manage. In contrast, a dedicated R&D laboratory could be assigned the expansive mission of "saving the planet from climate change." This focused mission allows for larger, more integrated research projects and coordinated efforts across multiple disciplines and institutions.

National R&D goals and historical precedents

Governments occasionally establish ambitious R&D goals that drive significant technological advancements. For instance, President Kennedy’s 1961 declaration to land a man on the moon spurred rapid space technology development. Similarly, a national commitment to combat climate change could catalyse the creation of a new R&D laboratory aimed at developing transformative solutions.

The creation of a new R&D laboratory dedicated to climate change mitigation could be instrumental in developing innovative and cost-effective solutions. By targeting underrepresented areas and promoting large-scale collaborative projects, this laboratory could accelerate progress towards a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.


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