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"The climate challenge, like the pandemic, requires public-private + transnational cooperation."  - Sedsvinskan

“The climate challenge, like the pandemic, requires public-private + transnational cooperation.” – Sedsvinskan

Antonio Andreoni, Associate Professor of Industrial Economics, writes that the right mix of targeted government financing and public procurement creates markets, leads to new breakthroughs and accelerates the transition to a green society.

This is the topic of discussion.Authors are responsible for opinions.

Antonio Andrioni writes that vaccine companies Biontech and Moderna are subsidiaries of universities and have received research support from the public sector during important stages of development work.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of suffering and many social and economic difficulties, but it has also shown that goal-oriented cooperation between government and businesses can drive development.

To tackle the climate crisis, similar creative collaborations are needed.

To speed up The pace of change and the experimentation of local solutions is essential. But this is not enough, either in epidemics or in the face of climate change. Whether it’s vaccines or renewable energy sources, the underlying technology must be shared around the world.

The first covid-19 vaccine received emergency approval for use in the United States and the European Union less than a year after the outbreak. Existing development systems and adequate production capacity were important factors. Without long-term cooperation between private and public institutions, government involvement and research support, rapid development of covid-19 vaccines would have been impossible.



Vaccine companies Biontech and Moderna are spin-offs from universities and have received significant research support from the public sector during important stages of their development work.

Biontech appeared He received his doctorate from Johann Gutenberg University in Mainz, and before the outbreak of the pandemic had already received about 17 million euros in research grants and start-ups from the BMBF, the German state fund for education and research.

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Moderna was founded in 2010 by a group of professors from Harvard University in the US with $25 million from DARPA, a federal fund to advance research and technology under the US Department of Defense.

Other research institutes such as the University of Oxford in the UK and the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Health, in the US have been directly and indirectly involved in the various critical stages of developing a Covid vaccine. Research institutes in several middle-income countries, such as Viecruz in Brazil, have also made important contributions.

Biontech developed its vaccine in cooperation with the German company Pfizer and the German state development fund BMBF, which contributed 375 million euros. Nearly $240 million was paid out early in 2020. Modern in the United States has received nearly $1 billion in government grants to develop the vaccine by 2020 and has worked closely on clinical trials with the NIH, the US federal agency for health and care Social. Shortly before that, Moderna had received $1 million from CEPI, a public-private partnership established in 2017 to develop vaccines against pandemics.

Prior agreement with several Buying governments made it possible to build the necessary production capacity at the same time. The agreements mean that when a vaccine is approved, in accordance with all applicable rules, governments ensure that the number of doses agreed in the contract is received.



Authorities expedited vaccine approval procedures and reviewed data after each clinical trial. Not as usual when all the tests are done. They also assisted in the preparation and conduct of independent control studies.

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What’s the point Then all this in order to combat climate change?

The climate crisis also requires rapid adjustments and simultaneous building of productive capacity. Financing can also be applied based on demand and advance purchases in the climate zone.

Public procurement is an important part of US innovation policy and financing. The United States government allocates approximately $50 billion annually to public procurement in new technologies and emissions control. This corresponds to just under a third of federal funding for research and development.

Coordination of research and development grants and public procurement has been central to the success of COVID vaccines in the United States and can be used to benefit the European Green Party, the European Commission’s initiative to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050, and in other similar programmes.

At the same time, political initiatives are needed to develop new methods of equitable distribution of profits and costs between private and public actors. Given the German government’s huge investment in Biontech and Pfizer’s covid vaccine development, one has to ask why the government can’t then influence the vaccine’s spread – the continued use of patents – or even take a share of the profits.


exactly like Vaccines, the spread of new climate technologies and innovative domestic successes are totally inadequate and concentrated in a few countries.

The rich world is urging low- and middle-income countries to adapt and participate in climate change. But the transfer of new technologies and financial resources, such as debt restructuring and restructuring, is still very little.

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The pandemic has raised debt levels that already existed in developing and emerging economies after the global financial crisis. Today, countries’ private indebtedness exceeds 140% of GDP, a 50-year high and more than double what it was before the 2008 financial crisis.

In order to meet Increasing climate challenges, as occurred during the COVID pandemic, require new creative collaborations between the public and private sectors and across national borders in order to direct resources to new sustainable technologies and economies where they are most needed. The right mix of targeted government financing and public procurement creates markets, leads to new breakthroughs, and accelerates the transition to a green society.

Translation: Karen Soderbergh

Project Syndicate


Antonio Andreoni, Associate Professor of Industrial Economics and Research Leader at UCL, Global Institute of London. It is also affiliated with the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, where its subject is the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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