Paulson, Darling and Nukaga call for "financial bridge from dirty to clean energy"

In the Financial Times, the most senior finance officials in the U.S., the UK and Japan have outlined a fund to accelerate the spread of clean technologies to the developing world. The explicit goal is to reduce carbon emissions. The implications for everyone in the alternative energy business could be enormous: ….The need for this fund is compelling. Growth is linked to energy consumption and access to clean and affordable energy is critical to eradicating poverty. We know the private sector has a crucial role to play, as do the World Bank and regional development banks.

…The question is how to ensure that new power plants, transport systems, factories and other buildings in the developing world are as environmentally “clean” as technology allows. According to the World Bank, ensuring that these investments are made using lower carbon emission technologies could cost an extra $30bn annually.

By pooling our efforts to support a new clean technology fund, administered by the World Bank, we can help developing countries bridge the gap between dirty and clean technology. The fund will support publicly and privately financed projects that deploy technologies that can cut emissions, increase efficiency and save energy. By supporting developing countries that undertake energy sector and climate related policy actions consistent with a low carbon growth trajectory, it will have a multiplier effect on reducing emissions.

The fund will boost the World Bank’s ability to help developing countries tackle climate change. Our countries will make major commitments to it. Mr Bush has already committed $2bn over three years. Japan, as host of this year’s summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations, will put climate change on the agenda. However, to be large enough to have a meaningful impact, the fund will require the support of other governments. We ask others to join our effort.

The clean technology fund will be launched as nations engage in United Nations negotiations (under the Framework Convention on Climate Change) to design a post-2012 framework to address climate change. It is not a substitute for those talks but responds to demand to get a head start on technologies for a low-carbon future. A successful fund will support progress in the talks and is consistent with the commitments our countries made at December’s UN conference in Bali.

…Without moving growth on to a cleaner technology path, climate change could have a devastating impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The fund will be an important step towards meeting the challenge of creating an environmentally sustainable path to prosperity.

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