By Mrityunjay Singh
Toyako (Japan), July 8 : Group of Eight (G-8) leaders on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment made at Heiligendamm in Germany to urgently develop, deploy and foster clean energy technologies.
"We recognize and encourage a wide range of policy instruments such as transparent regulatory frameworks, economic and fiscal incentives, and public/private partnerships to foster private sector investments in new technologies. We strongly support the launching of 20 large-scale CCS demonstration projects globally by 2010, taking into account various national circumstances, with a view to beginning broad deployment of CCS by 2020," they said in a Summit declaration. Elaborating further on the issue, they said that to accelerate these and other efforts, they were committed to increasing investment in both basic and applied environmental and clean energy technology research and development, and the promotion of commercialization, including through direct government funding and fiscal measures to encourage private sector investment.
In this respect, they said that the G-8 members have so far pledged over the next several years over US dollars 10 billion annually in direct government-funded research and development. They said that they have also agreed to take various policy and regulatory measures to provide incentives for commercializing these technologies.
Responding to the growing demand for Earth observation data, they said that they will accelerate efforts within the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), which builds on the work of UN specialized agencies and programs, in priority areas, inter alia, climate change and water resources management, by strengthening observation, prediction and data sharing.
"We also support capacity building for developing countries in earth observations and promote interoperability and linkage with other partners," they added.
Emphasizing that substantial finance and investments will be needed to meet the urgent challenges of mitigation, adaptation and access to clean energy in developing countries, they said the main sources of finance would be the private sector, but added that public resources "are essential to help the poorest."
They said that they welcomed and supported the establishment of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), including the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF), administered by the World Bank.
They said that G-8 members have thus far pledged approximately US dollars six billion as an ODA contribution to the funds and welcome commitments from other donors.
"The CIF will scale up public and private finance. They will have broad-based and inclusive governance mechanisms and, as an interim measure, fill an immediate financial gap for urgent actions until a new financial architecture under the post-2012 regime is effective.
The CTF will aim to promote low-carbon economies by helping to finance deployment in developing countries of commercially available cleaner energy technologies through investments in support of credible national mitigation plans that include low-carbon objectives, while the SCF will help more vulnerable countries develop climate-resilient economies and take actions to prevent deforestation, and could provide helpful lessons in the context of discussions on post-2012 financing arrangements," they said.
These funds will complement existing multilateral efforts, including the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which plays the key role as the main financial instrument of the UNFCCC and which we are committed to reinforcing.
We also welcome various bilateral financial initiatives taken by G8 members, including public/private partnerships capable of generating additional investment. We expect such financial assistance to be delivered in a coordinated manner and encourage active engagement by developing countries in an effective post-2012 framework, they concluded.