JOURNAL ARTICLE: The dynamics of global public research funding on climate change, energy, transport, and industrial decarbonisation


This paper explores the funding trends, topical themes, and notable gaps in global public research funding across the areas of energy, climate change, transport, and industrial decarbonisation from 1990 to 2020. The paper organizes its analysis along the themes of financial and spatial patterns of funding, patterns of disciplinary funding, and the temporality (and shifting research priorities) within funding patterns. It finds that funding for energy and climate research remains concentrated within the European Commission, United Kingdom and United States. Climate change adaptation research is the most funded general area, and the specific topics of energy efficiency, climate resilience, and climate information systems, managing climate risks, energy storage, carbon dioxide removal and solar energy are the most funded technologies. There is significant diversity in the disciplines funded, with the social sciences supported almost as much as the engineering and physical sciences and meaningful amounts of funding disbursed to the arts and humanities and the life sciences. A large majority of projects identify themselves as transdisciplinary. The paper, lastly, discusses research gaps and future research questions.