Environment officials from around the world agreed in Beijing on Tuesday to work to increase reliance on renewable sources of energy, underscoring a commitment to renewables after oil prices hit record highs.
The draft statement stopped short of setting a firm goal but it recommended the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development consider the launch of a 10-year framework to “substantially increase the use of renewable energy”.
The Beijing Declaration was the culmination of a two-day international conference that was a follow-up to meetings in Johannesburg in 2002 and last year in Bonn that aim to promote cooperation on renewable energy.
“The 10-year framework is much more specific than Bonn. They now have an official request of the UN Commission that feeds back into the UN system,” Christine Woerlen, of the Global Environment Facility, told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting.
The statement also did not set a target for investment in the renewables sector, though it stressed the need for funds for research and development, support for commercialization of new technologies and the transfer of technologies from rich nations to poor.
“Targets and timetables do matter. But there is a dispirited feeling that the U.S. just rejects multilateral target-setting for the time being,” said James Cameron of Climate Change Capital, a UK-based merchant bank that focuses on energy and the environment.
Nonetheless, he said the commitment to renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind power was growing.
By Lindsay Beck