This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 19, 2006

G8 Leaders Address Global Energy Security and Climate Change

Photo of the G8 leaders sitting around a round wooden table, with country flags in the background.

The G8 leaders committed to address key energy issues during their summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Credit: G8 Summit 2006

President George W. Bush joined the leaders of the seven other large industrialized democracies in a commitment to address global energy security and climate change at the G8 Summit on June 16th. The G8 leaders—representing the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia—adopted a Plan of Action that addresses a wide range of actions to address global energy security, including energy efficiency and renewable energy. The plan also notes that the G8 members "will continue to work to reduce greenhouse gases and deal effectively with the challenge of climate change," listing a number of international initiatives to accomplish that goal. According to the plan, the Kyoto Protocol and other initiatives "are the foundation of our current efforts to address climate change, and will form the basis of an inclusive dialogue on further action in the future, including the period beyond 2012."

For energy efficiency, the Plan of Action calls for improving national energy statistics; considering national goals for reducing the energy intensity of economic activity; encouraging energy efficiency standards and labeling for products; promoting efficient technologies through financial incentives; demonstrating leadership through energy efficient government buildings; increasing public awareness of energy efficiency; and encouraging the increased involvement of the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank, and other multilateral development banks in funding energy efficiency projects. Since two thirds of the world's oil is consumed by transportation, the plan calls for sharing best practices for fuel efficiency; providing incentives for efficient vehicles; introducing large-scale efficient public transportation; promoting a diversity of vehicle fuels and technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells; and promoting a wider adoption of efficient engines, lightweight materials, and aerodynamic designs. The plan also calls for greater energy efficiency in oil and gas production.

For renewable energy, the G8 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement measures set out in the Gleneagles Plan of Action that the leaders established in 2005. The leaders also affirmed their support for the transition to a hydrogen economy. Renewable energy and hydrogen are parts of a G8 effort to diversify the world's energy mix, an effort that also includes the development of zero-emission fossil fuel power plants, nuclear energy, and other innovative energy technologies. Other measures included in the global energy security plan include improving global energy markets, encouraging energy investments, securing critical energy infrastructure, and helping the poor to deal with high energy costs. See the new Plan of Action and the 2005 Gleneagles Plan of Action on the G8 Web site.