At the Poznan Business Day hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka described a new “Clean Energy New Deal” that positions energy efficiency as a top priority.
“The global economic slowdown must be viewed as an opportunity, not a distraction from efforts to mitigate climate change,” said Tanaka, when announcing the plan yesterday from Poznan. “Countries planning fiscal stimulus packages should invest in energy efficiency and clean technologies to build a sustainable energy infrastructure.”
In addition to billing energy efficiency as an “upfront, low-cost action,” the “New Deal” also calls for a price on carbon, supplying a clean energy infrastructure and financial incentives for clean energy development.
Earlier at Poznan Business Day. Harlan Watson, the U.S. ambassador to the climate talks, described the financial investments related to reducing C02 emissions as “a horrendous challenge.” According to the IEA, “greening the energy system” will require a $3.6 trillion investment in power plants and $5.7 trillion in energy efficiency between 2010 and 2030. However, IEA projects a $6 trillion savings to consumers in fuel costs.
Standards and norms for energy efficiency improvements were also called for in the “Power to Change” report released yesterday from Poznan by the WBCSD’s Electricity Utilities Sector Project. The U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development has contributed to this work group of the world’s major electricity companies by submitting a case study on byproduct synergy projects.
Other Highlights of Poznan Business Day
- We had lunch with Shell UK Group Climate Change Adviser David Hone and ConocoPhillips Europe Manager of Carbon and Environmental Products Andrew Roberts. ConocoPhillips will be featured in our story of the day for www.environmentalleader.com, which is slated for Wednesday.
- The idea of byproduct synergy was supported in a presentation by G 77 Chair Byron Blake, who said “reducing the consumption pattern of business itself” is key as negotiators work toward developing the Copenhagen Protocol. G77 is a UN negotiating coalition representing developing nations.
- UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said he heard the “need for a strong price signal” for carbon markets when he gave his end-of-day conclusion statement. Meanwhile, the financial crisis was called an “elephant in the room” by PricewaterhouseCoopers UK Global Leader of Climate Change and Carbon Market Services Richard Gledhill. Still, the business and investment community continues to call for investments in low-carbon technologies.
- “I said this morning I felt a more optimistic air for Copenhagen and I still feel that way,” concluded WBCSD President Bjorn Stigson. That sentiment echoes what even Harlan Watson said during his lunchtime address: “Personally I’m optimistic at this point.”