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Climate change on G8 priority list

Climate change on G8 priority list

12% of the world's electricity can be supplied by wind;
11 billion tonnes of CO2 saved by 2020, says industry report

Brussels/ Amsterdam, 30 June 2005 - The UK Government has prioritised climate change for their G8 (1) and EU Presidencies this year (2) and less than a week before the G8 Summit starts (7-8 July), Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) launched "Windforce 12", a global industry blueprint that describes how wind power can supply 12 % of the world's electricity by 2020 (3). The report is a crucial tool in the race to cut greenhouse gas emissions as 12% electricity from total of 1,250 GW of wind power installed will save a cumulative 10,771 million tonnes of CO2 .

The report also highlights that thirteen key countries around the world can play a leadership role to help unlock the major market deployment envisaged by this industry blueprint: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey, the UK and the USA. These markets are at an early but developing stage, and provide an insight into where major wind growth may be achieved.

"Wind energy has a huge role to play in our energy future and in combating climate change. It is already one of the fastest growing energy sectors in the world. G8 nations must encourage and support wind power developments worldwide to ensure that we can curb greenhouse gas emissions," said Sven Teske, of Greenpeace International.

Today, wind power installed in Europe is saving over 50 million tonnes of CO2 a year and on track by 2010 to deliver one third of the EU's Kyoto commitment. In the report, the value of the global market for wind turbines is to move from the current €8 billion to an € 80 billion annual business by 2020. Wind power is one of the most effective power technologies that is ready today for global deployment on the requisite scale, and can be installed far quicker than other conventional power stations.

"Wind power is one of the few energy supply technologies that is ready for a broader roll out today; wind has the maturity, clout and global muscle to deliver deep cuts in CO2, while providing a hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel prices and reduce energy import dependence", said Corin Millais, of the Global Wind Energy Council. "The global energy challenge of our time is not only to tackle climate change, but to meet the rising demand for energy and to safeguard security of energy supplies. As a power technology which can meet these three challenges, wind energy is a leading candidate."

Wind energy is a significant resource; it is safe, clean, and abundant. Unlike conventional fuels, wind energy is an indigenous supply permanently available in virtually every nation in the world, delivering energy security benefits of avoided fuel costs, eliminating long term fuel price risk, and avoids the economic, political and supply risks of dependence on imports from other countries.

With no intervention, the International Energy Association (IEA) estimates that, under current trends, the world's electricity demand could double from 2002 to 2030, accounting for 60% of new investment in energy supply by then. The global power sector requires 4,800GW - 2,000GW of this in the OECD - of new capacity to meet increasing demand and replacing aging infrastructure, at a cost of €10,000 billion in power generation, transmission and distribution. By 2030, the power sector could account for 45% of global carbon emissions. The investment choices made now will determine the level of emissions of carbon dioxide for many decades.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
(1). The International Climate Change Task Force convened by Tony Blair and the European Council see climate change as "probably, long-term the single most important issue we face as a global community". For this reason climate change will be a priority during the UK's G8 Presidency this year, along with Africa." (www.g8.gov.uk )

In January, the report 'Meeting the climate challenge' - Recommendations of the International Climate Change Task Force concluded that "a long term objective be established to prevent global average temperature from rising more than 2OC above the pre-industrial level";

"G8 Governments establish national renewable portfolio standards to generate at least 25% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025, with higher targets needed for some G8 Governments";

"Governments remove barriers to and increase investment in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and practice such measures as the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies"

(2). The European Commission report Action on Climate Change post 2012 published in February this year stated that "Renewable energies will have to play a much larger role in the future". The 2004 European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment on greenhouse gas emission trends in Europe concluded that "the promotion of renewable energy has the greatest impact on emissions in most EU Member States for both implemented and planned policies".

(3). "Wind Force 12, a blueprint to achieve 12% of the world's electricity from wind power by 2020". This report is the main global wind energy assessment. It has been conducted since 1999 by EWEA (the European Wind Energy Association) and Greenpeace International. The 2005 report has been completed by Greenpeace and EWEA on behalf of the GWEC - the Global Wind Energy Council.

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