Governments across the world need to stimulate research and development in innovation to boost low-carbon energy technologies, according to a leading climate change expert.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chair Rajendra Pachauri said the first steps to achieving sustainable energy consumption must be taken by governments.

“We need to invest now in the research and development of new technologies to guarantee that long-terms goals can be met,” Pachauri said.

The European Commission has estimates that global public support for energy research and development should at least double by 2012.

“There is significant scope, at the individual and community levels, to avoid wasting energy through changes in behaviour and improving energy efficiency by implementing appropriate technological solutions,” Pachauri said.