Can we afford renewable energy?

Published by Chris Oestereich on

A new report has just been released that’s calling for a “moonshot” effort around renewable energy. The Global Apollo Programme seeks funding in line with that of the 1960’s Apollo Program which put the first man on the moon.

The report asks countries to commit at least 0.02% of their GDP to this effort. I’ve come across multiple articles on this, but those that I read didn’t attempt to put the ask in context. Let’s give it a whirl…


The requested .02% of GDP would have equated to $3.35B of the U.S.’ $16.7T output in 2013.  How does that figure compare to actual government expenditures in the same time frame?

Here’s the high-level breakout of U.S. Government spending for 2012. (A year off, I know…)
The “moonshot” request would require the re-purposing of 1/2 of 1% of the year’s defense spending (Maybe it should be part of that budget.), and a similarly small portion of the other buckets shown here. If that’s enough to stave off climate change the question isn’t “Shouldn’t we be doing this?,” but rather, “Why aren’t we already?”

Otherwise, what’s the alternative?

[bctt tweet=”The question isn’t ‘Shouldn’t we be doing this?,’ but rather, ‘Why aren’t we already?'”]

Featured image source: Flickr/Asian Development Bank