New Global Energy Partnership to Launch in London

At last years World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, the British government joined its European colleagues and several other governments from over 100 countries pledging to increase the uptake of renewable and energy efficient technologies.

To deliver on that pledge the British government – working with governmental, corporate and NGO partners – has established the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

Described by Tony Blair as a new kind of partnership that draws on the expertise of everyone with a stake in sustainable development, REEEP provides an open and flexible framework within which partners take joint actions to promote the uptake of sustainable energy.

The founding principle is simple: Partners achieve more by collaborating than when acting alone. A genuine global partnership whose mandate is established by diverse members with common goals, but different identities and priorities, REEEP can press the case for renewables and energy efficiency on the international stage. Its diversity is its strength. REEEP members pursue their own priorities, but by stressing common goals and rejecting the one size fits all approach to energy, they achieve more, more quickly.

A year after Johannesburg – after extensive consultations in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia – REEEP is to formally launch as a global policy network in London on October 23rd. The British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, will join colleagues from Europe and beyond to unveil REEEPs programme for promoting sustainable energy. Other participants in the launch include Jrgen Trittin (Germanys minister for the environment), Jean Lemirre (President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), Christine Eibs-Singer (Chief Executive Officer of E+Co) and Karen de Segundo (CEO, Shell Renewables).

Since Johannesburg, REEEP partners have identified barriers to the development of sustainable energy and begun devising programmes for their removal. The thread that draws the programmes together is the recognition that international collaboration and partnership is vital to success.

REEEP is proving that new energy technologies are vital to innovation, competitiveness, reliability, energy security and economic growth, says British Foreign Office minister, Denis MacShane.

What will REEEP do?

REEEP partners will work together to create policy, regulatory, financing and business model approaches that work to promote the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

As Stephen Karekezi, director of the African Energy Policy Research Network and facilitator of REEEPs East African consultations, said at the June REEEP summit in Nairobi:

REEEP will give access to as broad a range of experiences as possible so that energy policy makers can see that low risk sustainable energy solutions are available. In Eastern Africa, we aim to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency by stressing their economic benefits such as job creation, lower energy costs and import bills.

His REEEP partner in Ghana, Kwame Ampofo MP, made a similar point: REEEP will help us to establish a policy framework which recognises the true costs of imported energy, in contrast to cheaper locally produced renewable power.

The need for a sound international legal framework for the global promotion of and trade in sustainable energy technologies will also be addressed by REEEP.

A REEEP law project will assess both the obstacles to renewables development and opportunities for their growth in current international law. The projects preliminary findings will be presented at the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn next June. The Project seeks to understand, reconcile and balance differing valid objectives within international law.

Partners on the REEEP-sponsored project include Yales Center for Environmental Law & Policy, UNEP, the European Commission, Baker & McKenzies specialised Global Clean Energy & Climate Change Group and NAFTAs Commission on Environmental Cooperation.

A further example of REEEPs global approach is its work on regulatory reform an increasingly important issue, not just for the developing world but also for wealthier economies which sometimes struggle to keep the lights on.

REEEP is working to establish Sustainable Energy Regulators Networks to develop policy and regulatory models that allow for the growth of distributed generation, other energy efficient practices, and renewables.

The prominent role played by REEEP partners from the southern as well as northern hemispheres, demonstrates that renewable energy and energy efficiency are critically important to developed and developing countries alike. Indias success in exporting wind turbines – not only to its neighbours but also to the United States – reflects determination to capitalise on a growing market. By helping facilitate the growth of this market, REEEP partners are making sure they do not miss out.


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