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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 16th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy & International Affairs David Sandalow.

TOPIC:              Upcoming Clean Energy Ministerial July 19-20th

This is written on the basis of a US Department of State Press Conference  – Thursday, July 15, 2010.

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This article follows our posting of July 14, 2010:

The Major 17 Economies were joined by Bangladesh, Denmark, Barbados, Ethiopia, Singapore and the UAE at the recent Rome meeting – to be followed by a July 19-20, 2010 Washington DC Meeting on Clean Energy – all this to build a program for Cancun.  Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 14th, 2010 by Pincas Jawetz ( PJ at SustainabiliTank.com)

We said at the time that the July 19 – 20, 2010  Washington DC Ministerial meeting will be a sequel – now we are convonced that is actually a different kind of meeting and I do not think that its eyes will be towards Cancun.

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The Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, David Sandalow, gave a background briefing and answered questions on the web regarding the importance of the upcoming Washington DC – Clean Energy Ministerial meeting. He discussed Energy Secretary Chu’s hopes on what will be accomplished.

The following countries will be represented:  Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Russian Federation, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the U.A.E. and the U.K.

This list excludes Indonesia from the Major Economies Forum which are 16 + The EU and then at their Rome meeting of June 30 – July 1, 2010, added on Ministers from a variety of representative smaller economies: Bangladesh, Denmark, Barbados, Ethiopia, Singapore, UAE.

This list includes in addition to the EU also all The Scandinavian States: Denmark, Norway, Spain and Sweden. As well it includes Belgium and Spain. It does not include Bangladesh, Barbados, Ethiopia, Singapore which were part of the meeting of June 30 – July 1, 2010 but it does include from that meeting Denmark that was a participant because of its hosting the Copenhagen meeting, and the UAE that seemingly represents the oil exporting countries.

The Washington meeting includes also Belgium because by now they have become the half year Presidents of the EU for July 1 till  December 31, 2010, and it retains Spain that held this position during the first half of 2010. To top this there is also an actual EU delegation at the table besides the temporary Presidents. We assume that this delegation is there because Malta, Cyprus and other EU delegations are not there. Place was also found for all major four Scandinavian Countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden – surely nice people all of them.

I write all of this in order to say that some better way has to be found on how to treat the EU and the World, when the Obama Administration wants indeed to show that it is serious about climate change by inviting just the large emitters that total 80% of the global emissions, or, if intent to bring in also some small representation of the small countries, that do not have substantial emissions, but proportionately are going to bear a major part of the suffering, the Rome initiative of having present also Bangladesh, Barbados and Ethiopia would have been just fine – and the total figure would have been then 16 + 1 (the EU) + 3 (this for Bangladesh, Barbados, Ethiopia) and it obviously would have included as part of the 16 also Indonesia.

For more information, the link to the website is:   cleanenergyministerial.org/

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At question time I asked from Mr. Sandalow why is Indonesia not at the meeting, and why was the symbolic, but important participation of the small number of really very small economies dropped?

The answer was that Indonesia said they are not coming because they participate at that time at a South  Asia meeting. The fact that the small economies were dropped is “because this is for the large energy markets – for 80% of the ENERGY MARKET  and not for the whole world.”  THE IDEA IS COME UP WITH ACTIONS TO PROMOTE CLEAN ENERGY, he said.

It would have been easier to accept that answer had the US also kept out the additional 6 EU States that were not among the original 16 + EU. We also would like to ask why UAE – though we think that they clearly are a better choice then Saudi Arabia – but still not exactly your ideal partner when you try to disengage from oil even though they do in effect – as holders of serious financial reserves – also participate in the financial benefits from looking for a cleaner future.

The above, because after Copenhagen we hoped for the involvement of business interests in order to create the working alternative to the Kyoto process – the interest of business in going green. For this to be effective one must have at the table mainly the real big emitters who indeed coincide with the biggest economies.

We thought that amounted to the maximum of 16 and – under EU conditions – just one more chair for the EU. Now there will be 23 chairs at the Washington table. The higher number decreasing the chance for success.

Monday, July 19, 2010 at 9am there will be an open press conference when the meeting starts.

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