US, UK, Japan Plan LDC Clean Energy Fund

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 2/09/2008 03:02:00 PM
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, and Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga have an op-ed in the Financial Times detailing the plan of these countries to create a fund for clean technologies in the developing world. Interestingly, the World Bank is to administer this clean fund. With the traditional aid business of the World Bank losing ground, could this eventually become one of its major efforts?

The first step in confronting climate change is to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. All countries need to take decisive steps to cut or limit the growth of emissions. Fortunately, we know ways of doing so, by globally deploying the most advanced clean-energy technologies.

Unfortunately, without a global investment framework built on market incentives, these technologies are not affordable for many developing countries. To address this the US, UK and Japan are working to create a fund to ensure the widespread adoption of clean technologies in the developing world. Market-driven economic development is one of the great success stories of the past half century. We should ensure that growth and poverty reduction continue without adding to the costs to the environment through the emission of the greenhouse gases primarily responsible for climate change.

If energy consumption continues along the current path in developing countries, future development will have a greater impact on our climate. We have no choice but to help developing countries reduce the carbon footprint of development and make their economies climate change resilient. President George W. Bush, Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, and Yasuo Fukuda, Japan’s prime minister, have risen to the challenge by establishing a multibillion-dollar fund to accelerate the deployment of clean technologies and help the developing world deal with climate change...

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.