Both public and private money needed to deliver clean energy

Partnerships between the private and public sector will be needed if the world's future energy needs are to be met using environmentally sustainable technologies, according to a coterie of international development banks.

Representatives from all the world’s major development banks met at a London conference and concluded that neither government programmes nor privately-funded ventures alone would be able to deliver the required energy infrastructure to adequately reduce the energy sector’s carbon emissions.

The Multilateral Development Banks – he African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank – underlined that energy is critical to global poverty reduction, the improvement of living standards and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

However, the banks argue that heavy dependence on fossil fuels not only has serious financial implications in the future, but also local, regional and global environmental costs.

They said a successful transition to a low-carbon economy will need the development of a long-term global policy which benefits both developing and industrialsied countries and which will stimulate the carbon market.

The banks also argue that other incentives for early investments are needed by the public and private sectors to develop and market low-carbon technologies.

The London conference aimed to identify specific measures required to significantly increase financing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.

As well as investing in pure renewables, these measures will need to include investments in energy efficiency and clean coal technologies, say the banks.

Public and private sector partnerships have the greatest chance of success, they concluded, and urged policy makers to take advantage of the current positive global economic outlook to deliver the necessary infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner.

Sam Bond

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