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Delaying Climate Agreement Could Costs Billions

Delaying Climate Agreement Could Costs Billions in Private Investment, Warns Global Wind Power Industry

Poznan (Poland), 13 December 2008. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) urged governments to pick up the pace of negotiations during the next 12 months in the run up to the Copenhagen summit at the end of 2009.

“We have seen very little concrete progress coming out of the Poznan talks, and time is not on our side,” said GWEC’s Secretary General, Steve Sawyer. “Private sector investors are looking to governments to prove their commitment to a post-2012 agreement. Clean energy businesses have a crucial role to play in achieving climate protection goals, but we need strong signals that governments intend to establish a clear and stable policy framework.”

The private sector is expected to provide the vast majority of the investment necessary for decreasing global emissions to sustainable levels. Any delay in agreeing stringent and legally binding emissions reductions targets for the period after 2012 threatens the mobilisation of this much needed investment. “Governments need to understand that their delaying tactics and bickering over minor details threaten billions in investment that could be mobilised to help avoid the worst damages of global climate change”, said Sawyer.

“Nearly 150 billion euros were invested in the clean energy sector in 2008, and we expect a similar level for 2008. Around 34 billion euros will be invested globally in the wind energy sector in 2008, and this figure is set to rise to 150 billion by 2020,” said Arthouros Zervos, GWEC Chairman. “In order to secure this investment, however, the sector needs full political commitment from governments, and a robust agreement in Copenhagen.”

The wind energy sector is committed to playing a leading role in the transition to a sustainable energy economy, and estimates that the deployment of wind energy could be scaled up from the current 100 GW to over 1,000 GW by 2020, providing 2,600 TWh of clean, fuel free electricity every year. This would result in a reduction of 10 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2020, providing a substantial contribution to combating climate change.

During the Wind Power Works reception organised by GWEC during the climate talks, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner urged governments to examine the long term parameters of their economic decisions on clean technologies such as wind power. “The competitive economies of tomorrow will be built around clean energy such as wind power. There are many good examples of how wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies are – today – providing carbon free energy while creating jobs and contributing to local economic growth, but these need to be promoted more widely. UNEP is proud to support the Wind Power Works campaign as it is perfectly aligned with our own efforts to help countries in their efforts to move towards a greener economy,” he concluded.

“It is essential to mobilise private sector investment in clean technologies, especially in times of economic uncertainty,” said Steve Sawyer. “We now need to ‘mind the gap’ between the first and the second Kyoto commitment periods. Any political delay will deter this investment and jeopardise global emissions reductions.”


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