Governments and environmentalists have enthusiastically welcomed the outcome of the International Conference on Renewable Energy on 1-4 June 2004 in Bonn, celebrating it as a significant step in the right direction. “The conference was a complete success,” declared German Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin. “Together the delegates have paved the way for a global transformation in energy structures and for a massive increase in the use of renewable energies.”
In particular, delegates at the conference have laid down specific international goals: An International Action plan, in which governments describe detailed commitments to renewable energy, is expected to mobilise billions in investments in wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy. Amongst the most ambitious commitments were those from China, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Egypt. Moreover, a shared Political Declaration has been adopted, spelling out the governments’ intent to supply one billion people with energy from renewable sources by 2015.
NGOs have welcomed these developments. “The winners have set the pace despite the vested interests of the oil and coal industries and countries such as the US that tried to block progress,” said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF’s Climate Change Programme. “This is a turning point for a clean, safe energy future, and a milestone in the fight against climate change, one of the world’s biggest problems.”
The renewables industry, however, is somewhat more guarded in its reaction: “The political declaration is weak and disappointing: concrete engagements are still missing and targets have been left out. We can point to the right direction, but at the end of the day the future of renewables is in the hands of decision-makers,” said Professor Arthouros Zervos, President of EREC.
The Renewables 2004 conference, which was hosted by the German government, was attended by over 100 governments worldwide, including China, India, Japan, Russia and the US, as well as 3000 delegates from international organisations, industry, NGOs and civil society.
Time saving overview: Renewable Energy
EurActiv Interview: Support for renewables does not distort the energy market, says Arthouros Zervos (15 May 2004)
EU Actor’s positions:
- Renewables 2004: Conference website
- Renewables 2004: Conference Issue Paper
- WWF: International Conference for Renewable Energies, Bonn, Germany
- Greenpeace: The Dawn of the Renewable Energy Revolution underway (4 June 2004)
- EREC Press Release: 50% global energy from renewables by 2040 – EREC publishes global scenario ahead of Bonn Renewables 2004 Conference
- EREC: Renewable Energy Scenario to 2040
Source: EurActiv.com vom 2004-06-08.