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tv   [untitled]    April 23, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT

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natural resources and to ensure that they are managed in a way that is closer to norway say than angola, to nigeria. so these natural resources at the domestic policy level can sometimes be as much a curse as a blessing, depending on management. mexico has done reasonably well. i do think there is a big question hanging out there, but hopefully it will be answered in the next session or in the future about how all this -- all these new sources of old and somewhat dirtier energy, natural gas cleaner than oil, but still somewhat dirty, will they crowd out on the pricing side the willingness of the private capital to go into renewables. so that's just kind of hanging out there. >> that's a very, very good question. we find it in the united states. it's everywhere in the world with these significant discoveries of oil. >> of natural gas and natural
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gas and shale oil, what we're seeing in the u.s. is having a really battering the renewables industry. and it's going to happen in a lot of different places. but the world's energy balance has clearly changed in a very, very interesting way in a short period of time. and my guess is that a lot of the policy thinking hasn't caught up with that, or people haven't really become aware of how significantly different, you know, we are today than we were three years ago. >> right, right, with the natural gas. okay, let's have another round, quickly. please, yes. there. we only have this one -- and yes, i remember you in the back. okay. you'll be next. >> thank you. ed barry with the sustainable world initiative. food security is important. energy security for all, you know, ending poverty, building infrastructure for health, education, and good governance, those are all good things. those are things we want.
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but they all take natural resources. and i have just come from the planet under pressure conference in london where 3,000 scientists very clearly have said we're already overutilizing the earth's resources, and that we're exceeding planetary boundaries. so i would ask you, how do you deal with this conundrum between the desire by us all to develop and the fact that the planet has limited resources? and how would you expect rio to deal with it? thank you. >> okay. that's a tough question. it goes to the heart. yes, in the back. ross, if you can zip back to the way back there. >> thank you. i'm with voice of america television. i don't know if there isn't a study of the potentially next crisis to produce energy, which is water. so far all our energy systems to produce energy consume massive amounts of water. and we are running out of water. is there any study about the
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next crisis on water that will collapse the energy production? >> okay, let's see. i saw some others. yes? >> thank you. steve moseley, una board and independent education consultant. tim, i'm wondering if you could -- you talk so eloquently about -- i'm hoping one of the outcomes of rio +20 is to establish another develop goal there is a tendency in policy for pendulum swings. if you add something, you start dropping things. and we're just at the point where the post 2015 has the opportunity for many of the other mdgs to succeed. but there is a tendency to call for trade-offs. how do you get the energy behind the other millennium goals to ensure that this addition actually becomes a catalyst for something that drives all of them to succeed in education? we see this year the -- this administration is so supportive of girls and women is proposed to drop by 50% the funding for
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the millennium goal on children's education as a trade-off for food security. a terrible trade-off. can you talk than trade-off dilemma in the post-rio meeting? thank you. >> okay. i'm going to take you one more and give you two the last word to address. >> they're all huge questions. great questions. >> i saw somebody -- sorry, yes, that's it, yes. sorry. can't do everybody. >> hi. nina gardner with strategy international. i was wondering whether there is some discussion in rio about revisiting the whole measuring of gdp and the whole goals of finding other indicators to measure progress. i worked on this at the oecd, which then became part of the commission. but i think it would be great if in rio the governments would decide to adopt or at least a
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timetable to get some key indicators to measure progress and we get away from this gdp as the only indicator of economic development. thank you. >> all right. >> let's start with nina's good question because i think it goes back to the first question as well. you know, the door is opening in a very happy way, i think, on people think about what is the new economics. the current system isn't working for us. you know, we're undervaluing or deevaluating the environment, the gap between rich and poor is growing. you know the whole litany. and this system just is not working. the u.n. just had a major conference last week on, you know, sponsored by the government of bhutan. you were probably there. what do we mean by gross happiness index? and how does that relate to the overuse of resources, what was being said in london two weeks before by the ecologists that were meeting there. you know, there is kind of a drumbeat going on there is going
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to be a big new economic institute meeting at bard college for three days at the second week of june. so it's starting to bubble up in a lot of different places. can that be done at rio? no. but there will be a lot of side events related to this. and this is going to be a very important discussion long-term for the u.n. to pursue. remember, the u.n. tends to be the keeper of the statistics. it tends to be the keeper of the rules. some place within the u.n. system, largely unesco, which of course we're out of for all the stupid reasons, but we're the keeper of those rules, the u.n. is. and how those rules get change and how we work on them is going to be very important. it's a wonderfully interesting challenge i think for those of us concerned about going back to the first question, what do we mean by sustainability. well, what is sustainability? how are we overusing resources? how do we really dramatically change our way? we have to change definitions, as you point out.
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gross domestic product by itself does not help. so we've been talking than for 20 years. but there are now i think institutionally i think that's beginning to change. i'll stop with that. the other questions are great. but that was a good opening. >> and that addressed also the -- >> the first question. >> the planning under pressure question. >> okay. >> not fully. >> let me try. they're really great questions. and of course we are all trying collectively to find answers to some of these very difficult questions. just to go back on your point, nancy, on the gas. actually, if you look at the way gas projects are done, gas to power projects are done and how renewable energy projects are done, the gas technology is very well established. it's less risky. there are no barriers to developing those kinds of projects. so what needs to be done on the renewable side is derisk the projects that we try to do in renewable energy. costs are higher. technologies are unproven.
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it's not available at scale. so some of the work that the world bank and other institutions are doing is to find ways in which renewable energy investments can be redisked. this is a major area we are putting a lot of focus on. >> this is the point that tim was also making. >> yeah. and clearly this is an area where private sector and public sector have to come together to find leverage points so that we can leverage technology, we can leverage knowledge to capacity, and also funding. >> could you on this give for the simple-minded, including me, when you say "derisk," are you talking 10 to 1 public to private money? five to one? does it vary tremendously? >> let me give you a concrete example. if you look at the clean technology fund. this is a fund that many of the developed countries put together to trigger -- >> catalyze, leverage. >> investment in renewable
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energy in developing countries. and about $8 billion from the clean technology fund has been committed, but it has leveraged about $26 billion of other monies. >> so it's three plus to one. >> but we want to make it one to five. we want to make it one to ten. that's the direction we have to go in. but to go in that direction, it would be important to work with governments, work with agencies and other influence-makers to find ways in which the right policy framework and also increase the financial institutions to go into these areas. otherwise it would be a problem. the energy/water/food/security nexus is extremely important. if you look at the way i think someone mentioned that the pressure on resources is growing so drastically. so therefore have to find ways in which these three issues can be addressed together, because they obviously influence each other. there is now a lot of work going
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on in this area, particularly the nexus between energy and water and see how you can mitigate some of the impacts there. the last point i wanted to make was about the natural resources. and nancy, you made the point very well that how do you go about creating the right frameworks for the transparency in governments of resource industry? and a lot of new work is going on in this area with the initiatives like the -- initiative which we are all supporting in order to bring some responsibility around the exploitation of natural resources. but it's a very challenging area. >> it's very challenging. okay. thank you so much, tim and vijay and all of you. now i want to invite nigel to come up and introduce the next session. [ applause ] >> thanks.
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>> before nigel starts, let me put in another plug for the report he did, which i think is available outside. it brings together some of the questions raised in the last session with some of the answers we hope for in this session. >> thank you, nancy. and thank you for your partnership in organizing this event and for sgd's tremendous work in raising the profile of development policy and the many contributions your scholars make to that effort. it's a wonderful opportunity to be a partner with cgd on these issues. i want to thank lawrence mcdonnell and kyler lawrence for all of their work and i especially want to thank abigail jones for her many intellectual contributions to my thinking and to our joint writing in this area. finally, i want to give a special thanks to our friends at the embassy of denmark here in
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washington for their support for this work and for their leadership on development issues and climate issues more broadly, particularly in their new very green government. thank you. so we've just heard why insuring sustainable energy for all is vitally important, and why people live longer, healthier and more productive lives when they don't spend hours each day gathering fuel and breathing smoky air, and when they can read, study, and work even though it is dark. lack of access to energy isn't the cause of poverty, but gaining access is important to most solutions. but securing progress on sustainable energy for all this year presents both opportunities and challenges. once a decade, as well this year, world leaders assemble at a global summit to promote the elusive goal of sustainable development. and based on the idea that economic growth, environmental protection and social justice must proceed simultaneously. these events, as the event this
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year does creates an opportunity for imagining, envisioning a set of solutions, for developing a new political narrative and a new set of expectations about what we the world both governments and the private sector need to do to promote this agenda. and perhaps rio this year can refresh interest in sustainable development and reimagine solutions that catalyze new partnerships and progress that is our hope. but let's be honest. these are challenging times. the lingering effects of the weak economy, the financial instability, the euro crisis, high unemployment, slow economic growth, plus a highly partisan political environment in some countries and elections, including in this country make this year a particularly challenging time to achieve major breakthroughs on just about any international development issue. little appetite exists in some donor nations, perhaps many donor nations to ask taxpayers to fund a large scale global effort. and at the same time, nations are struggling to make climate and proog change with a new
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global agreement still years away and likely to be imperfect even when it is done. despite these challenges, the idea of achieving sustainable energy for all is managing to inspire people in both developed and developing countries, bringing them together. developing nations are gaining interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency as strategies for development, not just as climate solutions. and in the developed world, the success of merging the climate and the development goals together through this concept is generating new interest and new political running room for action. in sort, the political narrative on sustainable energy for all has the potential to refresh the international development and climate and energy debates in exciting new ways. and even though rio itself may not be this year what rio was 20 years ago, this issue at this moment offers a tremendous opportunity for progress. while the possibility created by this new framing and by the rio summit itself are exciting, the incremental costs of delivering sustainable energy for all is not small.
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the international energy agency estimates that it could be around $48 billion a year when compared to today's efforts of about $9 billion a year. while many new technologies now exist and good work is under way, including at the world bank, as we just heard, many barriers and financial obstacles exist to getting to this scale. in this age of financial turmoil and austerity, and in this partisan election season, what can be done and what can the united states offer? the goal of the second discussion today is to stimulate discussion on this issue. the cdg report available outside provides some policy recommendations in this regard to frame our discussion before i introduce our speakers and discussions for this topic. let me just briefly run through our four principle recommendations. the thesis of the report is that the key contribution the united states can make to help close the -- by helping to close the financing gap, but not primarily through new foreign aid, for which there would be little political appetite, but rather
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by demonstrating ways to marshall private capital. american policymakers need to see the 2.billion without access to modern energy as potential customers for u.s. companies. we need to replicate the success of mobile phones. between 2000 and 2010, the number of mobile phones in developing countries increased from 215 million to 4.1 billion in ten years. even war-torn afghanistan has more than one mobile phone per household. and by and large, governments are not subsidizing this technology. rather private companies and the poor have found ways to work together that are profitable for both. as we heard earlier today, the role of government is to create the investment climate that allows private capital to service this latent consumer demand. ample evidence suggests that this approach, which worked for mobile phones, could be made to work for ending energy poverty rapidly and affordably over the next two decades. consider this. in subsaharan africa and india,
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mobile phone towers in rural areas are being used to generate solar electricity that can help charge the cell phones that being serviced by the mobile phone tower. they also charge l.e.d. lights which are becoming increasingly affordable for the poor, as well as rechargeable batteries that can run radios and other sorts of generators which are vital to escaping poverty. the united states has much to offer the globe in terms of creating the conditions that allow for this type of dramatic transformation, given the size of america's venture capital and investment community, the prominence of our financial markets and our exchanges, america's tradition of support for free market and free trade and business-friendly international policy. so here are four recommendations that are in our report that are designed not only to meet this need of transforming issues by creating markets and empowering our companies to be part of the solution, but also are trying to thread the needle between the
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right and the left in this capital about what is possible in the area of international policy. first, the united states should support global adoption of the concrete goals and norms that tim wirth so eloquently spoke about. these goals themselves are not the solution, but targets against which to measure progress can help catalyze action and help focus attention. second, the united states should join other countries in pledging that the international community will support nations with the political will to achieve these goals. by ensuring that these nations have the ability to implement the policies and programs for success. private companies will invest approximately $5 trillion annually in energy infrastructure each year by 2020. compare to that the amount funds needed to insure that energy decisions work for the poor and climate are modest, only about 1% of that total amount. expanding sustainable energy access is within reach if nations use public policies to create the right investment
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environment that changes the incentives and the decisions of private investors. the united states must help ensure that nations that are willing to take these steps to put the right policies in place, many of which have political challenges because they involve things like energy pricing, have the support of the international community and technical assistance to identify, adapt, and implement proven best practice global energy policies. third, the united states should announce at rio +20 its commitment to work with other nations to develop a rio fuel generator. this is a phrase we came up which is meant to reflect a mechanism that is within an existing international institution probably, but would inflect for all investment opportunities a portfolio of projects in key countries. long-term investors in the private sector have ahold of sit trillion in assets, and commercial banks hold another $72 trillion in assets.
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many of these private investors, including pension and sovereign wealth funds are eager to invest in sustainable energy solutions. what is missing is not money or funds, but rather an abundance of investment-grade opportunities, a new deal-flow mechanism that is designed to pool together smaller projects to make them larger scale, more liquid, to manage risks, would do a lot to marry the capital that is available in the world that is looking for a home on the issue of sustainable energy with projects and people in the developing world. finally, the u.s. government should act swiftly to insure that u.s. companies have every opportunity to compete to access and profit from these untapped energy markets in developing countries. the business foreign investment companies to the united states, including the overseas investment corporation should be given a new set of tools for the 21st century on energy, including the ability to take equity stakes and profitable projects, the capacity to take on, work more closely with their
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counterparts in other donor countries and the ability to incubate new business ideas to get them to market. like other opec and services, these costs of these actions could be supported by fees in a way that actually make up making money for u.s. taxpayers. while low cost and some cases revenue-generating, these self-interested growth oriented ideas taken together would require significant, but a manageable increase in u.s. foreign assistance. today such assistance represents about 2% of foreign aid, which of course is less than 1% of the federal budget. doubling these programs in the next couple years to implement the strategies that i have just mentioned would represent an affordable and yet politically realistic contribution by the united states in this area. and we urge the u.s. government to do that in the context of rio. so we are incredibly fortunate to have with us here two incredibly distinguished individuals to reflect on and
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provide their own perspective on opportunities for u.s. leadership on sustainable energy for all, and in specifically with respect to rio. carlos pascual is the u.s. special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs and the president's nominee to be the first assistant secretary of state for energy resources. previously he served as u.s. ambassador to mexico and ukraine. and as vice president of the foreign policy program at the brookings institution. i have had the pleasure of working with carlos in several of those roles and know him to be the epitome of a diplomat scholar. and i'm excited to hear his new thinking in the role that he is crafting at the state department for secretary clinton. william reilly serves as the chairman of the climate works foundation, the world's largest energy-related philanthropy. he is the partner in ventures specializing in sustainable solutions around the world. previously he serve as the administrator of the environmental protection agency under george h.w. bush and in that capacity led the u.s. delegation to the 1992 earth
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summit. the president's oil spill commission following the deepwater horizon disaster. as his record in distinguished public service demonstrates, bill reilly is among the most respected leaders in the environmental and energy space. so please join me in welcoming them to the stage. [ applause ] >> welcome. thank you. >> do you want me to go first? okay. nice to see you again. >> likewise. >> it's a real pleasure to join you, nigel. thank you very much. an honor to be here. bill, thank you. thank you to center for global development. nancy, it's a pleasure to be a part of this session. and thank you to the danish government for the long active involvement you've had on these sets of issues. when nigel and i spoke a few weeks ago about participating in
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the session, one of the things that i said was that i could talk quite a bit about sustainable energy for all if nothing else because i've been latched at the hip with this guy, vijay iyer down here. and we've been spending a lot of time together. and if nothing else, if you want to take that as a statement from the u.s. government of the importance that we see of international cooperation with the united nations and the world bank on these issues, you're free to do so. i'm not the person who has been leading the efforts on rio +20, because that falls under carianne jones, although obviously we've been working very closely together. and obviously sustainable energy for all has a big, big role to play in the rio +20 summit. so i just want to make clear those parameters. i would like to add a few things to the discussion that you've had with vijay iyer and sustainable energy for all and give a little context from the united states' perspective. i think the first thing that is absolutely critical that
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happened here in secretary general's effort is that this was defined as an effort to leverage private capital and investment to stimulate action and change. it was not defined as a development assistance problem. and the reason that's absolutely critical, as you go back to the figures that nigel was just using, $48 billion a year in investment ever year through 2030 in order to be able to achieve universal energy access. if you define that as a development aid problem from the outset, you have failed. if you define it as a strategy to be able to leverage and create the conditions for private investment to make it possible to extend energy access to markets where it has not gone in the past, then you can succeed. whether the figure is 1% or 3%, we can debate that. but that $48 billion represents somewhere around i would say 3% of the total private investment
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that goes into energy infrastructure on an annualized basis. so the challenge that we have here is not to say wow, we need $48 billion a year and that's an absolutely insurmountable sum. the challenge is how do you create and change the incentive structures so that you get more of that capital that would have been otherwise going to different types of projects, being able to make the decision that the risk and the returns are sufficiently good and sufficiently dependable that you're willing to make the investments in these kinds of sectors. and that in my mind is what sustainable energy for all is about. how do you bring together governments, donors, the international community, the host governments that are involved, the private sector, banks, pension funds, hedge funds, civil society, the kinds of organizations that can continue to be the monitoring groups behind this, how do we bring them together in order to create this value proposition. in the past there have been
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efforts at coordination to try to achieve greater investment in energy access. but the issue that we have often found, and this was fascinating in some of the discussions that we had in the context of the u.n. and i should -- seeing tim wirth here in front, tim, u.n. foundation, reed, you guys have been absolutely fantastic in providing substantive -- not just financial support, but the substantive support that has been so necessary on this effort. one of the things that came out of this discussion is when we had a dialogue with the private sector and we started talking about issues like commitments, the private sector turned off because from their perspective was you guys are talking about charity and you're talking about the corporate social responsibility account. and what we said is no. we don't want to go to the corporate social responsibility people. what we want to talk to are the people who are responsible for making the serious investments that are going to be in the billions of dollars, the hundreds of millions of dollars,
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the billions of dollars and how do we trigger the investments that you would be willing to make. so where we came back to in this discussion on sustainable energy for all, and this is what is so valuable about this initiative, is it starts to bring together groups of actors that can put on the table the kinds of actions that they can take on policies that might be advanced by individual governments, on investments that can be made, on financing possibilities on the role that civil society can play. and you then start putting them together and understanding where are the gaps, how do we fill the gaps, and as a result of that, how do we get better performance. and that's the challenge that we have to face is how to live up to that value proposition. the way that we've tried to approach this in sustainable energy for all, the way that we're thinking about it out of the u.s. government is that we have to look at it on two tracks. one track, if you're serious about energy access, one track
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has to be on a country basis. because in the end, it's countries that are going to set the policies, and we got to think about it here at least in two different ways, because they're going to be on-grid investments that are going to be critical. you can't ignore the on-grid investments. and there are going to be off-grid investments that are going to be critical. and what is the policy environment around those, what are the possibilities to invest, what kind of financial instruments do you need, what kind of financial institutions, what kinds of businesses, and what kind of civic groups can support that, and how do we build that around individual countries? so what we're trying to work toward at rio is a situation where it's not the u.n. or any other organization coming out and saying this is what is sustainable energy is about, but some of the countries that want to be the leaders in this initiative are coming out and saying hey, i'm going say this country, because i'm pretty sure they're going to be out there in front -- we, ghana, these are the actions we're going to be


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