Climate REDI $350-million global fund from US for clean energy tech

Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 19:06 by Business Editor

US announces $350-million global fund Climate REDI to provide clean-energy technologies to developing countries

The United States has announced a global fund, costing $350-million, to help provide clean-energy technology to the so-called developing countries, and pledged to contribute $85 million to the multinational fund.

The 5-year programme has been named the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (REDI, or the Climate REDI.)

The US also invited top officials to participate in a ‘green summit’ to be held in Washington in 2010.

Steven Chu, United States Energy Secretary, announced at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, that the multinational programme will help “speed up the delivery of technologies related to renewable energy to the developing and underdeveloped nations.” The global initiative, Steven Chu added, will enable the developing and underdeveloped countries combat the greenhouse-gas emissions in a better manner.

The 2-week United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen began on December 7, 2009.

The world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen to forge a new treaty to deal with the huge problem of global warming in order to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Among the programmes of the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative is the one to supply solar-energy lanterns and LED lanterns to millions of people in the developing countries who have no access to electricity – thus providing a low-cost alternative to kerosene-lamps that are both costly and polluting.

A statement issued by the White House said that the Climate REDI programme is expected to yield “immediate economic as well as public-health benefits.”

The Climate REDI programme is also aimed at improving the efficiency of electrical appliances, sold around the world, through “coordinating incentives and setting global standards.”

The programme will establish an online platform to share information among the members of the group called the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF). It will, in addition, render technical aid to poorer countries to develop strategies related to renewable energy.

While the United States will contribute $85 million to the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands have together pledged to put in $200 million.

Italy, Sweden and Australia have announced that they will contribute to Climate REDI, the statement from the White House said.

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen that Washington will host, in 2010, a ministerial-level meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF).

The MEF, which is a working group of the largest emitters of greenhouse-gases in the world, was launched by United States President Barack Obama in March 2009.

The goal of the MEF is to promote international discussions on combating climate change as well as to encourage the use of clean energy, Steven Chu said.

The announcement by the United States of the ministerial-level meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate after came as developing nations, led by countries in Africa, boycotted the UN Climate Summit on December 14, 2009. They returned to the meeting only after obtaining guarantees that the Climate Summit “will not sideline talks about the future of the Kyoto Protocol.”

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