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

December 01, 2010

WWF: Emerging Economies Show Leadership in Clean Energy

Five countries with some of the world's largest developing economies are demonstrating leadership with their plans to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The report, which examined the GHG emissions trends and climate action plans for Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa, found that all five countries have reasonably strong renewable energy policies and plans to reduce GHG emissions. In particular, China, India, and South Africa have all implemented comprehensive policies to advance renewable energy.

While Brazil is largely focused on reducing deforestation, China has committed to draw on renewable energy for 15% of its energy needs by 2020, and in 2009, it became the largest manufacturer of renewable energy products. China has also committed to achieving a 20% reduction in energy intensity this year, relative to 2005 levels, and a 40%-45% reduction by 2020. Meanwhile, India is making progress on solar and wind energy development under its national action plan on climate change. According to WWF, India may exceed its target of drawing on renewable energy for 10% of its power needs by 2012. In addition, Mexico is integrating its climate change mitigation and adaptation plans and has committed to reducing GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, relative to 2000 levels, while South Africa is pursuing an economy-wide approach to low-carbon development, working towards achieving a 34% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020. See the WWF press release and reportPDF.

The WWF report was issued as delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for an international conference on climate change. The United Nations Climate Change Conference includes the sixteenth conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the sixth meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The conference runs from November 29 to December 10. For the latest news from the conference, see the UNFCCC Web site.