International energy policy

Energy policy of the Group of Eight

The G8 states have been addressing energy supply issues intensively for years. Along with other issues, climate change was at the top of the agenda for the 2005 summit in Gleneagles. The G8 states called upon the World Bank to put forward proposals for the increased use of clean forms of energy in developing and emerging countries. The St. Petersburg Summit one year later addressed the theme of energy security, and the industrialised nations made an explicit commitment to developing renewable energies.

When Germany chaired the G8 at Heiligendamm in June 2007, re­newable energies were once again on the agenda. In a joint decla­ra­tion with the emerging countries Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, the G8 states affirmed their commitment to promoting energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy use.

At the 2008 summit in the Japanese city of Toyako the G8 states – and for the first time also the USA – agreed to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by at least 50 per cent by the year 2050. The G8 states intend to work jointly toward making this long-term target a binding basis for future global climate policy from 2012 onward, involving all the parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

At their summit in L'Aquila in 2009, the G8 partners agreed for the first time on the target of limiting the rise in global temperature to a maximum of two degrees centigrade in relation to pre-industrial levels. One notable success of the Major Economies Forum was that the key emerging countries for the first time also acknowledged the target of two degrees. The G8 reaffirmed and redoubled their com­mit­ment to the long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gasses by at least 50 per cent by the year 2050.

The G8 states also agreed to set up a working group on energy po­ver­ty. This working group is mandated to formulate concrete steps toward reducing energy poverty. In this context the G8 states underlined the importance of access to renewable, local energy sources for securing energy supply and supporting sustainable development in developing countries.

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