APEC declaration means fossil fuel subsidies soon to run on smell of an oily rag

APEC declaration means fossil fuel subsidies soon to run on smell of an oily rag

The 19th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii yesterday (14 November 2011) adopted a declaration to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and reducing tariffs on green goods.

Energy security was a major theme of the APEC conference that brought heads of state from 21 countries, including President Barack Obama, to Hawaii for the week-long conference.

In the APEC 2011 Leaders’ Declaration: The Honolulu Declaration – Toward a Seamless Regional Economy: “We are committed to advancing our shared green growth objectives. We can and must address both the region’s economic and environmental challenges by speeding the transition toward a global low-carbon economy in a way that enhances energy security and creates new sources of economic growth and employment.”

Hawaii is a good exemplar of the changes that Government policy can create, with a broad range of projects now in train to meet Hawaii’s goal of 40% renewable energy by 2030, and major reductions in its overall electricity use through efficiency programs. In 2009, the U.S. Pacific Command committed to meeting or exceeding the state’s energy goals for its military operations in Hawaii.

The APEC forum has continued to see strong leadership from Asian nations, and particularly China, with officials particularly focussing on the need for new energy sources to supply the country’s manufacturing base.
Information presented at the forum suggested China plans outbound investment strategies in the clean energy area of $1.54 trillion during the next 15 years.

The location of the APEC conference in Honolulu has been used by China and Hawaii to establish an agreement to ‘pursue mutual interests in clean energy development.’

Fossil fuel subsidies

In another significant announcement, the APEC Honolulu Declaration also committed to phase out “inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services, and set up a voluntary reporting mechanism on progress, which we will review annually.”

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA) welcomed the APEC Leaders’ Declaration.

‘Right now APEC nations, and especially China are both leading and pushing world clean energy markets – leading through their own industry development and pushing through plans for deployment of energy efficiency solutions to energy demand and consumption of renewable energy,’ says Professor Ray Wills, SEA CEO.

‘A more sustainable future dealing with the threat of dangerous climate change is not about switching the lights off and moving into a cave, but about getting better outcomes for the economy while using less energy, and obtaining that energy from emissions free renewable energy sources.’

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