Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has today called on energy ministers from around the world to step up efforts to make “the business case for going green,” meaning to boost renewable energy, sustainability and carbon credit investments in the private sector. Regardless of environmental experts’ warnings, Davey insists that meeting UK carbon emission reduction targets is possible. Opening the Clean Energy Ministerial in London, Davey told the audience of more than 20 energy ministers from the world’s leading economies that governments should work more closely with businesses to drive the necessary investments for low-carbon, sustainable future.
The meeting has brought together energy ministers from 23 countries, including Brazil, China, India, Russia and US, who are seeking solutions for power sources that do not fuel climate change. The UK government hopes the two-day gathering will enable them to “showcase” what it is doing to promote energy efficiency and low-carbon development. In the context of the summit, the UK government is also expected to announce a series of agreements on clean technology development with Brazil, Germany, South Korea and the United States. This comes in line with the International Energy Agency (IEA) recommendation for ministers at the summit to help create a level playing field for all clean energy technologies, accelerate clean energy research and support energy efficiency and carbon credit investments. These are necessary measures in order governments to meet their 2020 carbon emission reduction targets.
With many clean energy technologies available, but not being deployed quickly enough to avert potentially disastrous consequences, the world’s energy system is being pushed to breaking point. IEA warned that governments were failing to deploy available clean energy technologies quickly enough to avert “disastrous” climate change of up to 6C by the end of the century. In response Davey said that he expects the UK to meet its target of sourcing 30 per cent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with the “clean energy” sector having attracted nearly £5bn in private investment last year. “We started off from a very low base. When we came to government, we were right at the bottom of the league,” he said. “But we really have now begun to turn that round and we are moving fast“.
Despite his positive expectations, citing recent research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, that was presented to ministers, Davey warned that clean energy and carbon credit investments during the first quarter of this year fell and urged governments to step up attempts to drive private sector investment in the sector. Davey urged governments to create the right frameworks for low-carbon investment to encourage private financing as states do not have the balance sheet to fully support clean energy growth.