Countries commit to take forward clean energy mission

Tuesday 01 December 2015

Acknowledging that clean energy is a vital part of the long-term response to climate change, some countries came together to enhance the pace of innovation

                    A number of countries are committed to clean energy innovation
Credit: PIB
A number of countries are committed to clean energy innovation Credit: PIB

Around 20 countries, including India, the UK and Brazil, came together on the first day of COP 21 to launch Mission Innovation: Accelerating Clean Energy Revolution.

To mark the event, the White house announced in a statement, “The Mission Innovation members include some of the largest oil and gas producers—the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Norway and Indonesia—as well as many with high penetration of renewables in their power sectors such as Canada, Norway, Denmark, Brazil and Chile.”

Acknowledging that clean energy is a necessary part of the long-term response to climate change and energy security for nations, the countries came together to enhance the pace and scale of innovation. 

“This is an effort designed to accelerate clean energy innovation and address global climate change, provide affordable clean energy to consumers with a special focus on the developing world in creating commercial opportunities for creating clean energy in developing countries,” Brian Deese, one of Obama’s top advisers told the press.

The launch statement released a few objectives that the countries have set for themselves. These are as follows:

Double Governmental Investment in Clean Energy Innovation: each participating country would try to double their investment in clean energy research and development (R&D) in the next five years

Private Sector and Business Leadership: the countries are committed to working closely with the private sector and their investment in R&D for clean energy technologies. They praised the contribution made by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

Breakthrough Energy Coalition is a network of private capital formed by 28 industry leaders from 10 countries, including India, that aims to provide large funding commitments to basic and applied research in clean energy technologies.

Implementation: the countries will cooperate and collaborate to help all stakeholders in promotion, commercialisation and dissemination of clean energy technologies. They will create and enhance technology innovation roadmaps.

Information Sharing: countries should volunteer on annual basis information on its clean energy research and development efforts in a transparent and collaborative manner.

They also released a guide map to track various R&D efforts in the participating countries.

“Solving the clean energy problem is an essential part of building a better world, we won’t be able to make meaningful progress on other challenges—like educating or connecting the world—without secure energy and a stable climate,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a statement published on Facebook.

At the launch, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We have to ensure, in the spirit of climate justice, that the life of a few does not crowd out the opportunities for the many still on the initial steps of the development ladder.For that we must come together in a partnership to bring clean energy within the reach of all.Innovation is vital for combating climate change and ensuring climate justice.”

Amidst the announcement of International Solar Alliance and Mission Innovation, clean and renewable energy has been brought to the forefront at COP21.

The question, however, remains whether these alliances would be able to actualise the promises they are making or whether they will be another set of alliances that do not yield any result. Much of this would only be revealed in time.

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