Paris: Twenty countries, including India, the US and China, yesterday launched an initiative to double their clean energy research and development budget over the next five years as part of global efforts to tackle climate change.
US President Barack Obama is greeted by world leaders as he arrives for a group photo at the CoP21 yesterday in Le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris. Pic/AFP
The total amount of money being committed by these 20 countries—under Mission Innovation—amount to $20 billion, about half of which would come from the US, White House officials said.
A formal announcement of the initiative was made at a meeting attended by US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande along with other leaders from the private and public sector, a White House official told reporters before Obama left for Paris to attend the Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 climate summit.
These additional resources will dramatically expand the new technologies that will define a future global power mix that is clean, affordable and reliable, the White House said. "This is an effort designed to accelerate clean energy innovation and address global climate change, provide affordable clean energy to consumers with a special focus on the developing world in creating commercial opportunities for creating clean energy in developing countries," top Obama adviser Brian Deese told reporters.
Other participating countries include France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the UAE and the UK. These 20 countries account for over 80% of global clean energy R&D.
Funds for clean energy
"One thing that we know clearly is that the investment in basic research in clean energy technologies needs to be connected to private capital that’s willing to deploy against the most promising of those technologies and help bring them to scale," Deese said.
Noting that individual countries will focus on clean energy efforts that suit their needs, like energy efficiency or reducing hydrofluorocarbons, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in the US increase in funding, about 15% per year starting in 2017, would rely on Congress.
"There’s a lot of support for innovation," he said. In addition to Mission Innovation, another Breakthrough Energy Coalition will be launched simultaneously.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday warned developed nations at the 12-day UN conference that it would be “morally wrong” if they shift the burden of reducing emissions on developing countries like India, asserting that poor nations had a right to burn carbon to grow their economies. “The lifestyles of a few must not crowd out opportunities for the many still on the first steps of the development ladder,” Modi wrote in an article for a newspaper.
Putin snubs Erdogan meet
Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected a meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the climate conference in Paris yesterday, the Kremlin said, as a dispute rages over Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane. “No meeting with Erdogan is planned. There is no discussion of such a meeting,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Putin’s snub comes after the Turkish leader called for face-to-face talks with Putin on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the shooting down of the plane on the Syria-Turkish border.