UN environment agency welcomes G8 task force report on renewable energy

Applauding the report of the G-8 Renewable Energy Task Force, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer called its goal of delivering renewable energy to over 1 billion people across the globe “visionary and courageous.” Speaking at a meeting in Rome on Monday, Mr. Toepfer said the report had sent a clear signal that there are two fundamental reasons for the environmental problems facing the world. “On the one side we have poverty in the developing countries,” he observed. “On the other side, we have the consumption and production patterns of developed countries.” An estimated 100 million people globally are currently served by renewable energy, ranging from wind power to solar cells, according to UNEP. The report suggests that it may be possible, through concerted action by the G-8, other countries, the private sector, international funding institutions and other partners, to increase the number by 1 billion by 2010. Mr. Toepfer noted that while over the years there had been many fine words spoken about the importance of renewable energy technologies, the Task Force report now outlined a path for real and meaningful action primarily by broadening the market for such technologies. “What the Task Force report does is set out a visionary aim,” said Mr. Toepfer. “I will be crossing my fingers — it will be good for not only the developing world but the world overall if this goal can be achieved.”

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