Office of the Press Secretary
The White House, Washington, DC
September 27, 2007
Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change
"By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases. To help develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China. In addition to this long-term global goal, each country would establish midterm national targets and programs that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs." − President George W. Bush, 5/31/07
Today, the United States will host representatives of 17 world leaders plus the United Nations in the first Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. This meeting is part of the new initiative President Bush announced at the G-8 Leaders Conference in May 2007 to further the shared objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy security and efficiency, and promoting strong economic growth.
- Today's meeting is the first of a series that will bring the world's major economies together to develop a detailed contribution to address energy security and climate change when the Kyoto Protocol targets expire in 2012. These meetings are intended to reinforce and accelerate discussions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and contribute to a global agreement under the Convention by 2009. The U.S. is hosting leaders' representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (Portugal as current EU President plus the European Commission), France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, plus the United Nations.
- We will work with participating major economies to agree on a path forward under the UN Framework Convention and a working agenda for the year, including the following steps:
- Establish a process for and considerations in reaching agreement, in 2008, on a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Consider national goals and strategies over the mid-term, reflecting each nation's own mix of energy sources, future energy needs, and development priorities, to address the challenges of energy security and climate change, and discuss what more needs to be done.
- Highlight the most urgent needs for research and development of clean energy technologies. Participants will focus on four key areas:
- Generating power from fossil fuels with lower carbon emissions.
- Reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector through vehicle and fuel technologies.
- Addressing land use and the current unsustainable rate of deforestation.
- Accelerating and expanding markets for current efficiency and the use of nuclear, solar, and wind technologies.
- Identify areas for collaboration in key sectors and discuss challenges and opportunities for the development, financing, and commercialization of clean energy technologies. Participants will also discuss the approaches to reduce or eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers for clean energy technologies and services.
- Develop a stronger, more transparent, and reliable system for measuring actions to reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy security, and track progress toward meeting these goals.
Climate Change Must Be Addressed Together With Energy Security, Economic Growth, And Sustainable Development
The President's international energy security and climate change initiative recognizes that responsible action to address climate change and economic growth go hand in hand. It is only through strong economies that we can sustain the investment necessary to achieve lasting solutions. While all countries must do their part to reduce emissions, we should not seek to impose on any countries measures or frameworks that thwart their efforts to meet the legitimate aspirations of their people for better and more prosperous lives.
- Technology development is essential to meeting the challenge of energy security and addressing climate change, and the United States is leading the way. Since 2001, the United States has spent $37 billion on programs to advance science and technology related to climate change, much of which also addresses energy security.
- In 2006, absolute CO2 emissions declined 1.3 percent in the U.S., even as the economy grew nearly 3 percent. CO2 intensity – how much CO2 we emit per unit of economic output – fell an impressive 4.1 percent, more than double the historical average of less than 2 percent per year.
- We are on track to meet or exceed the President's goal of reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of our economy by 18 percent by 2012. From 2000 to 2005, we reduced our economy's greenhouse gas intensity by 8.5 percent, while our population grew by 5.3 percent, and our economy grew by 12 percent.
Support From International Organizations For Today's Major Economies Meeting
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: "I appreciate President Bush's initiative." "On climate change, which is a very important issue for all humankind, I appreciate President Bush's initiative, during the Heiligendamm G-8 Summit meeting." (UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Remarks After Meeting With President Bush, The White House, 7/17/07)
Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: "This is the next step in the process." "The UN's top official on climate change, Yvo de Boer, said the conference offered an exceptional chance to break the deadlock for tackling greenhouse gases. 'I view it with a lot of hope and expectation. This is the next step in the process and I am very keen to see where it takes us.'" (Olivier Knox, "Bush Calls Global Climate Summit To Do A Deal," Agence France-Presse, 8/3/07)
G8 Summit Declaration: "We welcome the offer of the United States to host [this] meeting." "To address the urgent challenge of climate change, it is vital that major economies that use the most energy and generate the majority of greenhouse gas emissions agree on a detailed contribution for a new global framework by the end of 2008 which would contribute to a global agreement under the UNFCCC by 2009. We therefore reiterate the need to engage major emitting economies on how best to address the challenge of climate change. … We welcome the offer of the United States to host such a meeting later this year." ("G8 Summit Declaration On Climate Change, Energy Efficiency," Press Release, 6/7/07)
APEC Leaders' Declaration: "We welcome the initiative by the United States to convene a group of major economies." "The world needs to slow, stop and then reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions. We, therefore, call for a post-2012 international climate change arrangement, building on the above, that strengthens, broadens and deepens the current arrangements and leads to reduced global emissions of greenhouse gases. …We welcome the initiative by the United States to convene a group of major economies to seek agreement on a detailed contribution to a post-2012 global arrangement under the UNFCCC." (APEC, "Sydney APEC Leaders' Declaration On Climate Change, Energy Security And Clean Development," Press Release, 9/9/07)