New International Clean Energy Fund to Battle Climate Change

January 30, 2008

President Bush committed on January 28 to provide $2 billion over the next three years for a new international clean energy technology fund. The President mentioned the fund during his final State of the Union Address, while an accompanying White House fact sheet includes the funding commitment and touts the fund as a tool to help confront climate change throughout the world. The new fund will increase and accelerate the deployment of all forms of cleaner, more efficient technologies in developing nations like India and China. It will also help leverage substantial private-sector capital by making clean energy projects more financially attractive. President Bush first proposed the fund in September 2007 at the First Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. See the White House fact sheets on the energy aspects of the State of the Union Address and on the September 2007 proposal.

To complement the new fund, the United States and the European Union submitted a joint proposal to the World Trade Organization in late November 2007 to eliminate barriers to clean energy and environmental services. Global trade in the goods covered by the proposal totaled $613 billion in 2006. According to the World Bank, that trade could increase by an additional 7%-14% per year under the proposal. See the U.S. State Department press release.

President Bush also reaffirmed the nation's commitment to complete an international agreement to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, while noting that such an agreement must include every major economy. In fact, in late January the United States is hosting its second Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change. The President sees energy technologies as key to the climate change solution, and noted that "we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology." See the State of the Union Address and the State Department Web site for the climate meeting.