Marrakesh – Mission Innovation countries came together today here at the UN climate change conference, otherwise known as COP22, to report on developments one year on from its launch. Finland and the Netherlands were welcomed as the most recent members to join this global effort to double clean energy R&D. In addition, a number of innovation challenges were launched to target development of energy technologies that will accelerate the clean energy transition.
Finland and the Netherlands joined Mission Innovation, increasing the total member country count to 23, including the European Union. The member governments represent more than 80 percent of global clean energy investment, and have pledged to double their clean energy research and development funding over five years to around $30 billion (USD) per year in 2021. This commitment to clean energy R&D will help drive steep cost reductions in clean energy, expand job creation for member countries, and deliver breakthrough technologies that will allow for increased global ambition to reduce carbon emissions that keep temperature rise below the dangerous level of 2 degrees Celsius.
“Mission Innovation participants are signaling their understanding that our global energy economy is going to be a low-carbon energy economy,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Commitment to Mission Innovation means that these countries want to create jobs for their people, and also build more low-cost, broadly deployable clean energy options.”
Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete welcomed Finland and The Netherlands to the initiative, adding “Through its partnership, Mission Innovation represents an unprecedented acceleration of research and development of clean energy technologies, which will bring sustainable energy to people all over the world. The combination of government efforts, alongside business and investors, will deliver exciting new energies for all.”
One year into its launch, Mission Innovation members have established the foundation for accelerating clean energy innovation by—among other efforts—working to secure and apply increased funding to country-led research and development efforts.
Recognizing that targeted technology advances could accelerate breakthroughs and reductions in cost, Mission Innovation countries today also launched seven Innovation Challenges. These challenges are global calls to action that complement efforts already underway by Mission Innovation countries.
Smart Grids Innovation Challenge
Off-Grid Access to Electricity Innovation Challenge
Carbon Capture Innovation Challenge
Sustainable Biofuels Innovation Challenge
Converting Sunlight Innovation Challenge to create storable solar fuels
Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge
Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings Innovation Challenge
Through these Innovation Challenges, Mission Innovation members aim to encourage increased engagement from the global research community, industry, and investors, while also providing opportunities for new collaborations between Mission Innovation members.
“Mission Innovation is one of the primary vehicles for driving forward clean energy innovation on a truly global scale,” said Minister Nick Hurd, U.K. Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. “Individually we can achieve a lot, but together we can go faster and further. The Innovation Challenges give a clear focus for the collective efforts of public and private researchers, innovators and investors, which will help to accelerate innovation in these areas.”
“Collaboration is essential to advancing our global response to climate change and our meeting our Mission Innovation goals. Canada will continue to invest in clean energy research and technology development and work with international partners to leverage efforts to accelerate energy technology innovation to advance the transition to a low-carbon global economy,” said Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honorable James Carr.