Brussels, 03 Nov 2005
A meeting between representatives from 20 countries on climate change closed with participants agreeing that new technologies are key to slowing the process, and pledging to work together on their development and technology transfer.
The meeting was organised by the UK, which currently holds the G8 Presidency, and was intended to follow on from discussions on climate change held at the G8 summit in July. It was attended by energy and environment ministers from the G8 countries, as well as countries from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the meeting had been intended as an opportunity to discuss possible strategies for tackling climate change that would be acceptable to all. 'How do we bring people together and get them working, one on developing the science and technology that is necessary to tackle this problem; two, on doing it on a basis that is compatible with economic growth; and three, further down the line, how do we get the right framework beyond 2012 to enable us to carry on taking action in respect of this?' asked Mr Blair.
In concluding the conference, the chairman noted a consensus on 'the importance of strengthening both research into new technologies and the deployment of existing technologies, which depend both on national policies and on international cooperation'.
Technology transfer and incentives for the private sector were emphasised as strategic necessities by the chairman several times in his conference conclusions.
Participants agreed that a key area of focus should be on assisting developing countries to improve their environment for the transfer of technology, through policy as well as financing and regulatory frameworks, and through examining the role of intellectual property rights. Those present also agreed to explore new approaches to financing technology acquisition and transfer.
Underlining the importance of getting the private sector involved, the chairman said: 'The challenge is to create the incentives for private sector investment, including through market-based instruments and carbon finance.' Indeed, much of the onus is on policy makers, from whom clear policy signals are needed in order to channel private investment towards, in particular, lower carbon technologies, said the chairman.
Investment and technology transfer were also highlighted by Tony Blair, along with the importance of cooperation, when he spoke at the closing session on 2 November. Climate change has been at the top of the UK's G8 agenda, and Mr Blair has spoken passionately about the issue on a number of occasions.
'What we need to do is to try to develop the right partnership, and then the right framework, so that we are developing the science and technology that we need, that we are doing this in a way that allows us then to transfer that technology and share it between developed and developing world, and that we start to look at the types of strategies and how we can help each other, that will enable us to solve this problem long term.'