On the invitation of the German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, high-level representatives from 10 countries have gathered in Berlin to establish the Renewables Club on June 1st, 2013. Their common goal is to scale up the deployment of renewable energy worldwide. Founding members of this pro-renewable alliance are the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Tonga (as a representative of small and medium-sized island nations), the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Ten Pioneering Countries Establish Renewables Club
“As members of the Club we aim to lead by example,” said Minister Altmaier. “The Renewables Club is a political initiative of pioneering countries that are united by an important goal: a worldwide transformation of the energy system.” In such a system, renewable energy should play a key role in the future global energy supply.
“We are determined to work together as advocates and implementers of renewable energy at global level,” said Altmaier. “We in Germany do not stand alone with our Energiewende, but are a part of a strong group of leaders.”
The Club is intended to supplement and support the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
“Renewable energy is not only a good way of combating climate change, it also contributes to prosperity and supply security throughout the world,” said Altmaier. “Especially at a time of growing energy demand, this is the attraction of renewable energy for countries all over the world.”
The Club members agreed to unite in putting renewable energy on the political agenda in the future. At the next UN climate conference, the Club plans to jointly present the advantages of renewable energy for prosperity, climate, and sustainable development. As a network and driver of ideas, the Club also aims to generate impetus for projects promoting the global transformation of the energy system.
A Closer Look At The Renewables Club
While the formal foundation of a club of pro–renewable energy nations did not come with any binding targets nor joined projects, it does send out some very powerful messages. One of the most important messages is propably the fact that 10 diverse nations publicly declare that the world has to move to a renewable future at this moment in time to deal with many of the existential challenges of our time.
- With approximately 2.9 billion inhabitants, the ten member nations represent about 40% of the world population.
- With approximately $19 trillion, they also represent about 27% of the world economy (measured in nominal GDP).
- The members of the Renewables Club represented 40% of global investments in renewables last year.
- The Renewables Club includes economies that are leaders in technology, innovation, industry, renewable deployment, and efficient policy frameworks, as well as those emerging economies that will benefit the most from a rapid transition to renewable energy.
Renewables Club – Communiqué
“We, Ministers and high level representatives of the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of South Africa, the Kingdom of Tonga, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), have gathered in Berlin on the 1st of June 2013, on the occasion of the World Environment Day, to discuss how to best scale up renewable energy deployment as an essential element of a sustainable and more prosperous future.
We recognize that, with the global energy demand predicted to rise tremendously in the years to come, countries are facing investment and infrastructure decisions on a scale that will define the development of generations to come. We also recognize that the current energy system as it stands right now poses risks to the climate, environment, poverty eradication, energy security and development, in particular in most vulnerable countries.
We are convinced that renewable energy, including transmission and interconnection infrastructures, is an essential part of the solution to the existential challenges we are facing and the means to transform the path to sustainability. We stress that renewable energy has entered into a virtuous circle of falling costs, increasing deployment and accelerated technological progress, renewable energy technologies now representing economical choices in an increasing number of countries and regions.
We note that, in spite of these positive developments, significant barriers still exist which can be overcome with innovative thinking, sound investments, new solutions and decisive action. In this context, we welcome the work and leadership of IRENA which provides us with an international framework that brings together all member countries in the search for a sustainable future. We are encouraged by a growing number of international and regional efforts to promote the use of renewable energy to achieve sustainable development. In this context we took note of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
We also recognize that high-level political support is indispensable in strengthening the role of renewable energy as an increasingly important source of our future supply and in supporting its integration into energy systems.
We, the Ministers of the countries that have been at the forefront of the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies, therefore agree to launch a high-level political alliance to advance the case of renewable energy in particular the objectives and programmes of IRENA.
We agree to continue our role as agenda-setters in accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and to promote it as a key underpinning of economic growth, social prosperity and environmental stability by:
- Supporting, including at the highest levels, the implementation of robust policies and setting conducive enabling environments for a greater use of renewable energy, thereby shaping investments and unleashing new business opportunities
- Sending a strong political message of support for renewable energy’s business case;
- Raising awareness on renewable energy as a major means to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in an effort to stabilize the climate system;
- Promoting renewable energy as one of the important elements of energy security, economic prosperity and sustainable development; and
- Lending additional political support to the work of IRENA, as well as the efforts of other entities active in the field of renewable energy.
By forming this alliance, we aim to demonstrate conviction and excellence, and to lead by example.
We call on other countries to follow suit and affirm our willingness to share information and experiences, in a resolve to strengthen cooperation and increase the number of countries who share the objectives of, and contribute to, the Renewables Club.
We call on the private sector to contribute to this effort by driving innovation, transforming businesses, shaping investments and unleashing new business opportunities.
We encourage the media and civil society to take an active part in raising awareness and catalyzing action to realize the opportunities that renewable energy presents in securing a sustainable future for all.”