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Climate Change

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total Government funding was for climate change research in each of the last five years; who the recipients were; how much funding was allocated to each; and what assessment has been made of the comparative value for money of each recipient’s work. (110412)

A sound basis of research to understand the implications of a changing climate is essential to drawing a climate change perspective into decision-making across the whole range of DEFRA’s responsibilities. DEFRA’s climate change research programme analyses the risk of human-induced climate change. It also assesses the potential impacts of climate change and our means of adaptation and mitigation.

DEFRA’s committed spend to those research projects which have some relevance to climate change is given in the following table.

£ million

Financial year

DEFRA spending











1 Provisional.

In addition to spending on projects relating directly to climate change, the figures given in the table also include spending on projects of a cross-cutting nature where climate change may be of secondary importance but still has some relevance.

Details on all the climate change research funded by DEFRA can be found on the DEFRA website at:

Research on climate change funded by DEFRA is assessed through peer-review where relevant both prior to commissioning and after completion. DEFRA staff routinely review the progress and outcome of projects, often with the assistance of independent steering committees. As part of these processes, value for money is evaluated throughout the lifetime of a research project and its translation into policy.

DEFRA also commissions periodic reviews of its research contracts. A technical and scientific review of the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) was carried out in 2005 to assess its performance and identify its priorities for the next five years. The review concluded that UKCIP is performing very effectively with the resources available and therefore represents good value for the current level of investment.

DEFRA’s research budget includes support for the Hadley Centre, which it co-funds with MOD) (contributions of £12.5 million and £3.5 million respectively in 2005-06).

DEFRA and the Ministry of Defence have commissioned a major independent review of the activities of the Hadley Centre. This review is concerned with the scientific output and quality of the Hadley Centre’s activities, as well as structure and engagement with external stakeholders. A final report is due to be published by the end of this month.

The UK Research Councils support a considerable amount of research that is both directly about climate change or is relevant to climate change. Taken together this is of the order of £400 million over the five years. They have also invested over £190 million over the same period into sustainable and future energy.

Research work of relevance to climate change is also undertaken and funded by the Department for International Development and the Department for Transport. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry funds research into emerging low carbon technologies.