Friday, June 04, 2004

Financiers tell Governments to "Get Real" on Renewable Energy

A new study released today at the International Conference for Renewable Energies Bonn shows a US$1.9 trillion potential for renewable energy markets in the next 15 years, but only if "real concerns" by the financial sector are addressed.

"The world needs more energy, but conventional sources are unsustainable and finite", says Mr. Thomas Loster, Head of Weather/Climate Risks Research at the Munich Reinsurance Company and Chair of UNEP FI's Climate Change Working Group. The most important thing that policymakers can do, he says, is create confidence in the long-term future of the renewable energy market by policies that make "the deal on the table" financially attractive.

One of the study's major recommendations is for governments to create "tough targets and 15-year schedules for the production of renewable energy".

Calling for a "better deal" for renewable energy, UNEP's Executive Director Klaus Toepfer says "it's time to get down to business".

Affordable finance will be needed to implement the International Action Plan being developed at the Bonn Conference, he says, while agreeing with financiers that Governments need to "get real" with the policies to make that happen.

"Sustainable development needs sustainable energy, but sustainable energy needs investment", Mr. Toepfer says, encouraging the 275 people attending the Sustainable Energy
Finance Event at the Bonn Conference to develop new products for the rapidly evolving renewable energy sector.

Time is growing very short for the development of a sustainable economy. The means are being developed but they won't save us without a major committment by all countries to make renewable energy a part of their public policy.


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