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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 23, 2005
U.S.-German Joint Actions on Cleaner and More Efficient Energy, Development and Climate Change
Germany and the United States have a history of working together bilaterally and multilaterally to promote strong economic growth, reduce harmful air pollution, improve energy security, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through such mechanisms as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Delhi Declaration, the G-8 Action Plan on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation. The United States and Germany welcome the continued work in this area under United Kingdom's G-8 Presidency.
1) Cooperation with Developing Countries
We are particularly committed to working with developing countries to help them meet their own development and poverty reduction priorities, which requires increased access to all forms of cleaner, more abundant, and more affordable modern energy sources, including renewable and efficiency technologies. To this end, we have worked to include major developing countries in our multilateral technology partnerships, to ensure that cleaner, more efficient technologies are appropriate to all major nations and regions of the world. We will broaden and reinforce those activities. We anticipate additional opportunities as we work together to address global environmental, economic and social challenges and opportunities.
2) Energy Conservation and Efficiency
Considerable economically viable technologies exist, and should be encouraged, for boosting energy efficiency in industrialized and developing countries. Progress on energy efficiency provides one of the greatest opportunities for cost-effective reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases and improvement in energy security. Examples range from highly efficient power stations, through energy-saving products, to fuel-efficient vehicles. Innovative future technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaics offer great economic prospects. A promising new field is the area of nanosciences. They have the potential of offering higher energy efficiency, in particular more energy efficient commercial and household products, including vehicles, through the use of new materials and new illumination technologies. An intensification of our bilateral cooperation in the field of energy conservation, efficiency and new technologies could accelerate our progress. Grasping these opportunities will strengthen our economy and open up profitable markets for our companies.
The United States and Germany also have a joint commitment to the multilateral Methane to Markets Partnership that will advance the commercial use of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from coalmines, natural gas and oil reserves and landfill sites. This initiative promises to significantly reduce methane emissions and put them to profitable use as a clean energy source.
3) Modernization of domestic power generation
Efficient and cleaner production of heat and power from coal and natural gas are advanced by German-U.S. cooperation in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), FUTUREGEN, and CORETECH. These three initiatives will help dramatically advance cleaner heat and power production from coal and natural gas via focused research and development efforts.
These activities underscore the important contribution of modernization of energy systems to supporting economic growth, improving energy security, and reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Highly efficient technologies offer great opportunities to cost-effectively reduce energy consumption, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Germany and the United States will make joint efforts to apply these technologies domestically and worldwide, especially in fast growing developing countries.
4) Innovation for future energy systems
The United States and Germany lead global efforts to develop future energy systems including the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. Both countries are founding members of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy established by 15 counties and the European Commission in 2003 to conduct advanced research and development in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Germany and the United States cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally in the development of hydrogen powered fuel cells use in the transport and stationary sectors. A close cooperation in the research and innovation activities of the United States and Germany for future energy and transport systems, including fuel cells and hydrogen, will be a driving force to make these technologies available and price competitive.
5) International cooperation for renewable energy
Renewable energies should play an increasing role in the portfolio of modern energy systems. Renewables 2004, an international conference convened by the German government, provided a platform to advance renewable energy (e.g., biomass, wind, geothermal, solar, and hydropower) technologies and policies. Both the United States and German governments pledged financial and technical resources to advance development of renewable energy in the overall global mix of heat and power production. Recognizing that a wide range of different renewable technologies offer a variety of possibilities for joint projects on both bilateral and multilateral levels, the German and U.S. governments will work together to fulfill the pledges made at Renewables 2004.
The United States and Germany will broaden and reinforce their activities in three areas of common action to improve energy security and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting strong economic growth:
* First, joint activities to further develop and deploy cleaner, more efficient technologies to support sustainable development.
* Second, cooperation in advancing climate science, and developing effective national tools for policy action.
* Third, joint action to raise the efficiency of the energy sector and address air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in our own countries and around the world.
We will continue working together and through partnership with the G-8 countries under the Action Plan for Science and Technology for Sustainable Development to enhance these efforts.