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Get smart: G8 should promote energy efficiency


Gland, Switzerland – Despite the enormous potential of energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the planet from dangerous climate change, too many existing efficiency policies and measures in the G8 industrialized countries are ineffective, WWF’s latest report reveals.

The global conservation organization shows in its report, Making Energy Efficiency happen: From Potential to Reality, what each of the G8 plus 5 countries can do to save energy and the climate while promoting their energy security with sustainable economic growth.

“There is no one silver bullet to stop dangerous climate change, but energy efficiency is the largest and most affordable solution available to avert the current crisis,” says Hans Verolme, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“It shouldn’t take long for the world’s most powerful leaders to realize the immediate pay-off these efficiency measures offer.”

WWF’s recommendations specifically focus on the building, transport and power sectors. For the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany has suggested a 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency in each sector by 2020 compared to 2005.

The WWF report shows that G8 plus 5 countries have even greater energy efficiency potentials in these sectors and that endorsing these targets is technically and economically feasible for all countries. It estimates the efficiency potential for the transport sector at 25-50 per cent, for the building sector at 30-45 per cent, and for the power sector at 4-45 per cent by the year 2030, depending on the country.

The recommended measures include standard setting, labelling for energy efficiency, fiscal instruments such as subsidies or tax credits, and a CO2 or energy tax. Increased energy conservation would result in cost savings, an increase in energy security, and provide new business opportunities and increased employment.

The WWF report reveals that the five developing countries analysed — Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa — all have some efficiency policies in place already but show a large scope for improvement as well.

“At its meeting in Germany next week, the G8 should first reach agreement on launching the UN negotiations this autumn and, second, commit to strong energy saving targets and technology support for developing countries" adds Verolme.

“In today’s globalized world industrialized countries need to work more directly with developing economies, for instance in developing joint energy efficiency standards.”


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