Clean Energy Ministerial

29 July 2010

The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial meeting, hosted by US Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu, concluded last Tuesday, launching 11 new initiatives to promote the advancement of clean technologies globally.

The new initiatives, which include developing and deploying electric vehicle (EV) technologies, smart grids, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and LED lighting, could eliminate the need to build 500 mid-size power plants over the next 20 years, and include:

  • The Electric Vehicles Initiative, led by China, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US, will help governments meet their respective electric vehicle deployment targets through sister-city partnerships and sharing of best practices. The International Energy Administration (IEA) estimates that delivering on these targets will put participating countries on the path to deploy at least 20 million electric vehicles by 2020.
  • The International Smart Grid Action Network, a collaboration between the US, Korea, Italy and 13 other countries, will address smart-grid finance, policy, technology research, and worker training. Additionally, participants will share best practices and work jointly on smart grid integration projects.
  • The Solar and LED Energy Access Program, a partnership between the US and Italy, will facilitate the deployment of solar-powered light-emitting diode lanterns in developing countries, and aims to improve lighting services for of 10 million people within five years. Italy transferred the first contribution of $10 million to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the meeting, and has pledged to contribute an additional $20 million to the initiative.
  • The Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Action Group,  a collaboration between 13 countries and 10 businesses and NGOs, will develop a Global Strategic Implementation Plan to make recommendations at the next Clean Energy Ministerial on how global CCS deployment can be accelerated between now and 2020.

The Clean Energy Ministerial is a product of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF). Comprised of 17 major developed and developing countries, the MEF has drawn attention for its potential to effectively compliment the UNFCCC process.

Mark Kenber, Deputy CEO of The Climate Group, said: "The initiatives launched at the Clean Energy Ministerial could be an effective way to complement the UNFCCC process, by demonstrating real progress with the technologies that we need to cut emissions and drive low carbon prosperity. Successful outcomes will show world leaders that rapid low carbon market transformation is really possible and that an ambitious global climate agreement can be a true springboard to sustainable long-term economic growth."

The Clean Energy Ministerial meeting was attended by government delegations from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Next year’s meeting will take place in the United Arab Emirates.

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