17 March 2005 – Energy and Environment Ministers from 20 countries with significant energy needs, agreed at the Roundtable in London that greater energy efficiency, renewables, clean fuel technology and hydrogen and carbon capture and storage would all play an invaluable role in cutting emissions.
They heard that moving to a lower carbon economy will boost employment, create economic opportunities, enhance competitiveness and improve air quality.
Margaret Beckett, UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary of State, said Wednesday:” Today is the start of a new dialogue between Energy, Environment and Finance Ministers on how we can tackle the challenge of climate change.
“The message from this conference was that rising global carbon emissions can only be tackled by international collaboration and cooperation.
“No one country can do this on its own, but between us we have enormous power to act.
“This first ever forum of Energy and Environment Ministers from developed and developing countries facilitated an invaluable exchange and sharing of views on ways to tackle climate change,” she added.
Patricia Hewitt, UK Trade and Industry Secretary, said: “The past two days have focussed our minds clearly on the environmental challenges ahead.
“New technology provides the biggest opportunity to meet these challenges and provide a diverse fuel mix that meets all our economic needs and, for the future of the environment, reduce our levels of CO2.”
To help advance collaboration and networking on new low carbon technologies, the UK is to host an Energy and Research Innovation Workshop, which will take place in Oxford on May 11-12, 2005.
Three new countries – South Korea, Mexico and Canada – signed up to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) during the Roundtable. REEEP was officially launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 to provide a platform for cooperation between countries, businesses, NGOs and other organisations.
The government statements received a muted welcome from the Renewable Power Association. Chief Executive Philip Wolfe said, “”Whilst it is positive that many governments are recognising the scale of the climate change problem, at home it is time for action. We have heard time and again pledges on global warming but the action still does not match the rhetoric. Whilst we welcome the statements coming out of the roundtable discussion, what we really want to see is action.”