The session focused on how to encourage entrepreneurs to develop a global low-carbon economy. Mr. Nobo Tanaka (Executive Director, International Energy Agency) explained that renewables and energy efficiency technologies must be part of any solution, he showed that these technologies have the potential to reduce current emission pathways by 21% and 54% respectively. Mr. Tanaka, announced that the IEA will make 16 new energy efficiency recommendations to the G8 at Hokkaido in June. Mr. Tanka went onto explain that in any global solution that there had to be an equitable and fair burden sharing. He said, we face a formidable but achievable challenge, and that there needed to be a global energy revolution in the way that we produce energy – oil supplies were no longer the major constraint for the IEA, but time to implement the changes needed to put the global economy on a low-carbon pathway.
Mr. Zhenhua Xie, Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, explained that climate change posed a huge challenge to developing countries development. He felt that globally, the problem was not a lack of technology, but a lack of disseminating this technology, as developed countries hold the patents for the majority of this technology. These countries, therefore needed to help developing countries to develop their capacity. He also commented that there needed to be a level-playing field within government’s policies and regulations so that low-carbon technologies, such as renewables could develop as conventional energy systems previous had.
Mr. Devender Singh, Joint Secretary of the Minister of Power, India, commented that low-carbon technologies need to be developed to fit the needs and pockets of developing countries.
Mr. Matthias Maching, State Secretary for the Environment, Germany, explained that there needs to be an 80% reduction in Germany’s emissions if it was to reach the 2.5 tonnes per capita target. He felt that Germany had access to technology, which could make a 40% reduction in emissions, but more money needed to be spent in research and development to develop technologies that would enable countries to make further cuts in emissions. He welcomed Japan’s proposed energy efficiency improvement target of 30%, but stated that governments need to have more concrete solutions on how to meet this, and called on the IEA, with the help of German finance, to do this on a country level. He echoed former Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s comments saying, a third industrial revolution was needed to bring forward this low-carbon age. This revolution he believed would be a challenge, but it would provide industry and business with huge opportunities as he felt the current 1000 billion euro market for low-carbon technologies would double.
Mr. Bjorn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, explained how he felt there was still a huge potential for energy efficiency technologies, but rather than looking to develop new technologies, effort should be placed in implementing the technologies, that we already have at hand, as they still offer huge cost neutral benefits in reducing global emissions.
Mr. Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister, United Kingdom, commented that although the challenge was huge, and that globally we were still heading in the wrong direction as carbon emission continue to rise, although globally and politically there were the tools to tackle it. Mr. Wicks said that he still felt that a lack of policy and financing framework is a major problem, and to help with this he announced that the United Kingdom was making a new three year commitment to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), which for 2008/09 will be ₤2.5 million (GBP). It is the aim of REEEP to remove the policy and financial barriers, which exist to the implementation of renewable, and energy efficiency projects and technologies.