At the sixth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6), Mexico Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, China Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang and other world energy leaders announced ambitious actions to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. These actions include global efforts addressing three critical technology and policy challenges: efficient lighting, low-carbon power systems, and the availability of information about policies for low-carbon development. Finally, to conclude CEM6, President Barack Obama announced in a video message that the United States will host CEM7 in 2016, which was followed by the announcement by China’s Minister Wan Gang that China intends to host CEM8 in 2017.
“CEM 2.0” and the CEM Steering Committee
At CEM6, ministers agreed to launch an enhanced, second phase of work under CEM, referred to as “CEM 2.0.” Ministers created a new CEM Steering Committee that will provide leadership and strategic guidance year-round to prioritize efforts in areas of greatest potential impact. The inaugural members of the Steering Committee include China, Denmark, the European Commission, France, India, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Ministers also launched three critical efforts to drive action in the clean energy space:
The CEM Global Lighting Challenge was launched by Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia,South Africa, Sweden, the United States, and the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission to establish a global race to reach cumulative sales of 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality and affordable advanced lighting products as quickly as possible. With lighting accounting for 15 percent of global electricity usage, replacing the world’s existing lighting with these products could save over$100 billion in electricity costs alone and lower annual CO2 emissions by 534 million metric tons.
Under the CEM Power System Challenge, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission endorsed a set of principles to help guide their country’s efforts toward the clean, reliable, resilient and affordable power systems of the future. Participating countries agreed to facilitate the development of national roadmaps and strategies to increase energy efficiency while also taking advantage of smart grid technologies and renewable resources such as wind and solar power. The United Nations Environment Programme also stated support, noting the Challenge will provide critical market pull and awareness-raising.
Ministers also announced efforts to dramatically scale up the Clean Energy Solutions Center, a CEM initiative that has already provided real-time, no-cost clean energy expert policy assistance to more than 80 countries around the world. The scale-up initiative includes increasing the amount of global experts to help respond to significantly more requests for assistance as well as establishing a new section on Clean Energy Finance. Both Australia and the United States announced additional funding support. India, Italy, and Indonesia announced the provision of additional experts, and Canada announced additional experts and tools to the Solutions Center.
CEM6 host Joaquin Coldwell said, “It is up to us that renewable energies become a synonym of equality, and a powerful force to build a cleaner, fairer and sustainable world.”
“This year’s Clean Energy Ministerial was particularly important as we worked to scale up global challenges and establish a vision for ‘CEM 2.0’ to play a fundamental role in helping our world transition to a clean energy economy,” said Secretary Moniz. “Since clean energy is key to combating climate change, the Ministerial was an important stop on the road to the 2015 Paris climate negotiations. We look forward to seeing a lot of the progress going into CEM7, which will be hosted in the United States.”
“The transformation to clean energy economy calls for unswerving political will, clearly defined national targets and enhanced international collaboration,”
At CEM6, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially became a member of the CEM, bringing the total members to 23 countries and the European Commission. Together they are responsible for about 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90 percent of clean energy investment. Through its ongoing initiatives and the new actions announced at CEM6, all focused on implementing ambitious actions and policies, the CEM plays a unique role in the international climate and clean energy space by helping countries meet their climate and clean energy goals and creating space for greater ambition.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.