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|US Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaking at the Copenhagen climate conference.|
|(cc) Andrew Revkin|
Speaking on behalf of President Obama at the Copenhagen climate conference, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of a new initiative to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries. Secretary Chu also welcomed progress under the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) and invited his counterparts in MEF and other countries to a first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial next year.
Secretary Chu today announced the launch of a new Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI). The program will accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fighting energy poverty and improving public health for the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.
Climate REDI includes three new clean energy technology programs and funding needed to launch a renewable energy program under the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund:
Climate REDI is a “quick-start” initiative to complement the much broader technology and finance mechanisms of an international climate agreement. It will promote dissemination of clean energy technologies through the following tools:
To achieve the best results, Climate REDI will coordinate closely with other programs that promote clean energy technologies in developing countries. For the Solar and LED Program, this includes the International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Africa initiative, TERI’s Lighting a Billion Lives program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lumina Project. For the Super-efficient Appliance Program, it includes the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), the Collaborative Labeling and Standards Program (CLASP), EPA’s Energy Star program and the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The Clean Energy Information Platform builds upon the OpenEI platform, developed by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). And Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program is an activity under the Climate Investment Funds, a multilateral, multibillion dollar trust fund housed at the World Bank.
The combined budget for these programs is $350 million over five years. Funding for the first three programs above will total $100 million — $35 million that the United States intends to contribute, with the balance from Italy, Australia and other partners. Funding for the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program will total $250 million – $50 million that the United States intends to contribute and $200 million that the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland pledged previously. (These previous pledges were subject to receipt of $250 million in total contributions, a condition satisfied by the United States’ announcement today, allowing the entire program to go forward.)
President Obama launched the Major Economies Forum in March 2009, creating a new dialogue among developed and emerging economies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. At their July summit in L’Aquila, Italy, MEF Leaders launched a new Global Partnership on clean energy technologies.
Today MEF countries, including the United States, released ten Technology Action Plans developed under the Global Partnership. These plans summarize mitigation potential of high-priority technologies, highlight best practice policies, and provide a menu of specific actions that countries can take individually and collectively to accelerate development and deployment of low-carbon solutions. The ten technology areas and lead countries are:
To drive this work forward and continue concrete action on global clean energy technology deployment, Secretary Chu today announced that he will host a first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial for MEF and other countries in Washington, D.C., next year.
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